Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (72)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
1.  Mitochondrial biogenesis in the metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease 
The metabolic syndrome is a constellation of metabolic disorders including obesity, hypertension, and insulin resistance, components which are risk factors for the development of diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular, and renal disease. Pathophysiological abnormalities that contribute to the development of the metabolic syndrome include impaired mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and mitochondrial biogenesis, dampened insulin metabolic signaling, endothelial dysfunction, and associated myocardial functional abnormalities. Recent evidence suggests that impaired myocardial mitochondrial biogenesis, fatty acid metabolism, and antioxidant defense mechanisms lead to diminished cardiac substrate flexibility, decreased cardiac energetic efficiency, and diastolic dysfunction. In addition, enhanced activation of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system and associated increases in oxidative stress can lead to mitochondrial apoptosis and degradation, altered bioenergetics, and accumulation of lipids in the heart. In addition to impairments in metabolic signaling and oxidative stress, genetic and environmental factors, aging, and hyperglycemia all contribute to reduced mitochondrial biogenesis and mitochondrial dysfunction. These mitochondrial abnormalities can predispose a metabolic cardiomyopathy characterized by diastolic dysfunction. Mitochondrial dysfunction and resulting lipid accumulation in skeletal muscle, liver, and pancreas also impede insulin metabolic signaling and glucose metabolism, ultimately leading to a further increase in mitochondrial dysfunction. Interventions to improve mitochondrial function have been shown to correct insulin metabolic signaling and other metabolic and cardiovascular abnormalities. This review explores mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction with a focus on impaired oxidative phosphorylation and mitochondrial biogenesis in the pathophysiology of metabolic heart disease.
PMCID: PMC4319704  PMID: 20725711
Metabolic impairment; Oxidative phosphorylation; Mitochondrial biogenesis
2.  Obesity and Heart Failure as a Mediator of the Cerebrorenal Interaction 
Contributions to nephrology  2013;179:15-23.
The obesity epidemic is contributing substantially to the burden of cardiovascular disease including heart disease and congestive heart failure, in the United States and the rest of the world. Overnutrition as a driver of obesity, promotes alterations in fatty acid, lipid, and glucose metabolism that influence myocardial function and progression of heart failure from diastolic to systolic failure. The association of progressive heart failure and progressive chronic kidney disease is well documented and often referred to as the cardiorenal syndrome, as well as a prognosticator for cerebrovascular disease (e.g. stroke). Whether the relationship between obesity, heart disease/failure and risk for chronic kidney disease and stroke is direct or a confluence of risk factors is poorly understood.
PMCID: PMC4315619  PMID: 23652445
4.  Diabetic Kidney Disease and the Cardiorenal syndrome: Old Disease New Perspectives 
Diabetes is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the United States. There was an estimated 7 million cases of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) in the last National Health and Nutrition Examination survey (2005-2008). High blood pressure, hyperglycemia and other metabolic abnormalities interactively promote DKD, thus there has been increasing interest and renewed focus on the metabolic dysregulation and the interactions between heart and kidney pathologies observed in DKD. Indeed metabolic abnormalities that are observed in overweight or obese individuals are known to impact blood pressure regulation in kidney and cardiovascular disease; e.g. cardiorenal metabolic syndrome. In this context, obesity has been associated with increased blood pressure variability and nocturnal non-dipping which are risk predictors for albuminuria and DKD. These collective metabolic abnormalities have also been observed in earlier stages of DKD in association with micro-albuminuria. Herein we review the current literature regarding the role of blood pressure variability and nocturnal non-dipping of blood pressure as well as the presence of DKD, in the absence of albuminuria, as risk predictors for progressive DKD. We also discuss the importance of glycemic and blood pressure control in patients with diabetes and CKD, and the use of oral hypoglycemic agents and anti-hypertensive agents in this patient cohort.
PMCID: PMC4251585  PMID: 24286950
Albuminuria; Proteinuria; Diabetes; Cardiorenal Syndrome; Diabetic Nephropathy; Chronic Kidney Disease; Blood Pressure Variability
5.  Salt Loading Exacerbates Diastolic Dysfunction and Cardiac Remodeling in Young Female Ren2 Rats 
Metabolism: clinical and experimental  2013;62(12):10.1016/j.metabol.2013.08.010.
Recent data would suggest pre-menopausal insulin resistant women are more prone to diastolic dysfunction than men, yet it is unclear why. We and others have reported that transgenic (mRen2)27 (Ren2) rats overexpressing the murine renin transgene are insulin resistant due to oxidative stress in insulin sensitive tissues. As increased salt intake promotes inflammation and oxidative stress, we hypothesized that excess dietary salt would promote diastolic dysfunction in transgenic females under conditions of excess tissue Ang II and circulating aldosterone levels.
For this purpose we evaluated cardiac function in young female Ren2 rats or age-matched Sprague-Dawley (SD) littermates exposed to a high (4%) salt or normal rat chow intake for three weeks.
Compared to SD littermates, at 10 weeks of age, female Ren2 rats fed normal chow showed elevations in left ventricular (LV) systolic pressures, LV and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, and displayed reductions in LV initial filling rate accompanied by increases in 3-nitrotyrosine content as a marker of oxidant stress. Following 3 weeks of a salt diet, female Ren2 rats exhibited no further changes in LV systolic pressure, insulin resistance, or markers of hypertrophy but exaggerated increases in type 1 collagen, 3-nitrotryosine content, and diastolic dysfunction. These findings occurred in parallel with ultrastructural findings of pericapillary fibrosis, increased LV remodeling, and mitochondrial biogenesis.
These data suggest that a diet high in salt in hypertensive female Ren2 rats promotes greater oxidative stress, maladaptive LV remodeling, fibrosis, and associated diastolic dysfunction without further changes in LV systolic pressure or hypertrophy.
PMCID: PMC3833978  PMID: 24075738
angiotensin II; TG (mRen2) 27 rat; Diastolic Dysfunction; Cardiac Remodeling; Oxidative Stress; Perivascular Fibrosis
6.  Resistance to Insulin and Kidney Disease in the CardioRenal Metabolic Syndrome; role for Angiotensin II 
The presence of insulin resistance is increasingly recognized as an important contributor to early stage kidney disease independent of the contribution of diabetes. Important in this relationship is the strong correlation between hyperinsulinemia and low levels of albuminuria (e.g microalbuminuria). Recent work highlight mechanisms for glomerular/tubulointerstitial injury with excess insulin and emerging evidence identifies a unique role for insulin metabolic signaling and altered handling of salt reabsorption at the level of the proximal tubule. Evidence is also emerging for the role of insulin signaling in the glomerulus both epithelial and endothelial. Central to the mechanism of injury is inappropriate activation of the RAAS.
PMCID: PMC3711952  PMID: 23416840
Cardiorenal metabolic syndrome; Chronic Kidney Disease; Obesity; Insulin resistance; Hyperinsulinemia; Glomerulus; Proximal Tubule
7.  Short term aerobic exercise training increases postprandial pancreatic polypeptide but not peptide YY concentrations in obese individuals 
Short-term exercise training improves glycemic control, but the effect of short-term training on postprandial satiety peptide responses or perceived satiety remains unknown. We tested the hypothesis that short-term aerobic exercise training (15 days) would alter postprandial pancreatic and gut peptide [pancreatic polypeptide (PP) and peptide YY (PYY)] responses and perceived appetite and satiety in obese individuals.
Thirteen healthy obese men and women (age: 42±2 y; BMI: 30-45 kg/m2)
Subjects were studied before and after 15 days of training (walking 1 h at 70-75% VO2peak). On the study day, subjects consumed 1500 kcal as 6 meals (250 kcal: 9 g protein, 40 g CHO, 6 g fat) while blood samples and satiety measurements were taken at baseline and every 20 min for 12 h. Blood was analyzed for pancreatic polypeptide (PP), peptide YY (PYY), glucose, and insulin levels. Appetite and satiety was assessed with a visual analog scale throughout the day.
Incremental area under the curve (iAUC) for PP increased significantly with training (pre 2788±753; post 3845±830 pg/ml·min for 12-h, p<0.001), but there was no difference in the PP response to each meal. The initial PP response to the first meal increased (ΔPPmin 20-0: pre 86±25; post 140±36 pg/ml, p<0.05) with training. PYY iAUC showed no significant changes with training but showed a significant main effect of time across meals, with the largest response being to the first meal (P<0.005). There were no changes in satiety, glucose, or insulin levels with training.
Short-term exercise training increases postprandial PP concentrations in obese individuals; however, PYY levels and glycemic control remain unaffected. Both PP and PYY show meal-induced increases at all meals but PYY has a greater response at the first meal with reduced responses at subsequent meals.
PMCID: PMC3773306  PMID: 23736355
gut hormones; hunger; satiety; autonegative feedback; short term training
8.  Risk Factors for ESRD in Individuals With Preserved Estimated GFR With and Without Albuminuria: Results From the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) 
Given the increasing costs and poor outcomes of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), we sought to identify risk factors for ESRD in people with preserved estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), with or without albuminuria, who were at high risk of ESRD.
This cohort study included participants in the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) with eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 at baseline stratified by the presence or absence of albuminuria. The Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation was used to calculate eGFR. Urine was tested for albuminuria by semiquantitative dipstick. The outcome was the development of treated chronic kidney failure, defined as initiation of maintenance dialysis therapy or kidney transplantation, determined by linkage to the US Renal Data System. We used a Cox model with the Fine-Gray method to assess risk factors for treated chronic kidney failure while accounting for the competing risk of death.
During a median follow-up of 4.8 years, 126 of 13,923 participants with albuminuria (16/10,000 patient-years) and 56 of 109,135 participants without albuminuria (1.1/10,000 patient-years) developed treated chronic kidney failure. Diabetes was a strong risk factor for developing treated chronic kidney failure in participants with and without albuminuria (adjusted HRs of 9.3 [95% CI, 5.7–15.3] and 7.8 [95% CI, 4.1–14.8], respectively). Black race, lower eGFR, and higher systolic blood pressure also were associated with higher adjusted risks of developing treated chronic kidney failure.
In a diverse high-risk cohort of KEEP participants with preserved eGFR, we showed that diabetes, higher systolic blood pressure, lower eGFR, and black race were risk factors for developing treated chronic kidney failure irrespective of albuminuria status, although the absolute risk of kidney failure in participants without albuminuria was very low. Our findings support testing for kidney disease in high-risk populations, which often have otherwise unrecognized kidney disease.
PMCID: PMC4117734  PMID: 23507268
Albuminuria; blood pressure; chronic kidney disease; diabetes; dialysis risk factors; end-stage renal disease; public health
9.  No independent association of serum phosphorus with risk for death or progression to end-stage renal disease in a large screen for chronic kidney disease 
Kidney international  2013;84(5):989-997.
Whether higher serum phosphorus levels are associated with a higher risk for death and/or progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is not well established, and whether the association is confounded by access and barriers to care is unknown. To answer these questions, data of 10,672 individuals identified to have CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 ml/min per 1.73 m2) from those participating in a community-based screening program were analyzed. Over a median follow-up of 2.3 years, there was no association between quartiles of serum phosphorus and all-cause mortality (adjusted hazards ratio for serum phosphorus over 3.3 to 3.7, over 3.7 to 4.1, and over 4.1 mg/dl, respectively: 1.22 (0.95–1.56), 1.00 (0.76–1.32), and 1.00 (0.75–1.33); reference, serum phosphorus of 3.3 mg/dl and below). Individuals in the highest quartile for serum phosphorus had a significantly higher risk for progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) (unadjusted hazards ratio, 6.72 (4.16–10.85)); however, the risk became nonsignificant on adjustment for potential confounders. There was no appreciable change in hazards ratio with inclusion of variables related to access and barriers to care. Additional analyses in subgroups based on 12 different variables yielded similar negative associations. Thus, in the largest cohort of individuals with early-stage CKD to date, we could not validate an independent association of serum phosphorus with risk for death or progression to ESRD.
PMCID: PMC4103660  PMID: 23615501
barrier to care; cardiovascular disease; chronic kidney disease; end-stage renal disease; mortality; phosphorus
10.  Renin Inhibition and AT1R blockade improve metabolic signaling, oxidant stress and myocardial tissue remodeling 
Strategies that block angiotensin II actions on its angiotensin type 1 receptor or inhibit actions of aldosterone have been shown to reduce myocardial hypertrophy and interstitial fibrosis in states of insulin resistance. Thereby, we sought to determine if combination of direct renin inhibition with angiotensin type 1 receptor blockade in vivo, through greater reductions in systolic blood pressure (SBP) and aldosterone would attenuate left ventricular hypertrophy and interstitial fibrosis to a greater extent than either intervention alone.
We utilized the transgenic Ren2 rat which manifests increased tissue expression of murine renin which, in turn, results in increased renin-angiotensin system activity, aldosterone secretion and insulin resistance. Ren2 rats were treated with aliskiren, valsartan, the combination (aliskiren+valsartan), or vehicle for 21 days.
Compared to Sprague-Dawley controls, Ren2 rats displayed increased systolic blood pressure, elevated serum aldosterone levels, cardiac tissue hypertrophy, interstitial fibrosis and ultrastructural remodeling. These biochemical and functional alterations were accompanied by increases in the NADPH oxidase subunit Nox2 and 3-nitrotyrosine content along with increases in mammalian target of rapamycin and reductions in protein kinase B phosphorylation. Combination therapy contributed to greater reductions in systolic blood pressure and serum aldosterone but did not result in greater improvement in metabolic signaling or markers of oxidative stress, fibrosis or hypertrophy beyond either intervention alone.
Thereby, our data suggest that the greater impact of combination therapy on reductions in aldosterone does not translate into greater reductions in myocardial fibrosis or hypertrophy in this transgenic model of tissue renin overexpression.
PMCID: PMC3640616  PMID: 23352204
Direct Renin Inhibition; Angiotensin II Type 1 receptor; Echocardiography; Ren2 rat
11.  Type 2 diabetes in older people; the importance of blood pressure control 
Diabetes and hypertension often coexist and their coexistence substantially promote cardiovascular disease (CVD) and chronic kidney disease. Control of blood pressure to a level of 140/90 mm Hg in people with diabetes can prevent or at least delay CVD and chronic kidney disease.. In the past many society treatment guidelines have stressed tight blood pressure control (=< 130/80) for people with diabetes. But recommendations for such tight blood pressure control have not been supported by recent large randomized control trials, especially in in elderly. Here we review the recent literature regarding the benefits of blood pressure control in elderly patients with diabetics. We further focus on evidence for specific levels of blood pressure treatment goals, in this population subset..
PMCID: PMC3647695  PMID: 23667714
Diabetes; Hypertension; Diabetes complications; Blood pressure control
13.  Therapy of obese patient with Cardiovascular Disease 
Current opinion in pharmacology  2013;13(2):200-204.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions and is a significant public health concern. Obesity is associated with increased diabetes, cardiovascular and kidney disease, and associated morbidity and mortality. Despite the increasing public health problem of obesity, there is a dearth of effective treatment options. Following the FDA mandated withdrawal of sibutramine, the treatment options for obesity were limited to orlistat as the only pharmacological treatment option for long term management of obesity. Recently two new medications (Belviq and Qsymia) were approved by FDA for long term management of obesity. Many other anti-obesity drugs are under development. Bariatric surgery has been shown to be effective in the treatment of obesity and its comorbidities. The available data suggests that even modest weight loss improves diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. We summarize the treatment options for obesity and the efficacy of these options in ameliorating cardiovascular risk factors. We also focus on the recently approved anti-obesity drugs.
PMCID: PMC3648585  PMID: 23332347
14.  Metabolic impact of adding a thiazide diuretic to captopril 
Hypertension  2013;61(4):765-766.
PMCID: PMC3676883  PMID: 23424231
15.  Salt Loading Promotes Kidney Injury via Fibrosis in Young Female Ren2 Rats 
Cardiorenal Medicine  2014;4(1):43-52.
It is increasingly recognized that there is sexual dimorphism in kidney disease progression; however, this disparity is lost in the presence of diabetes where women progress at a similar rate to men. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is known to regulate diabetes-induced kidney injury, and recent literature would suggest that gender differences exist in RAAS-dependent responses in the kidney. In this regard, these gender differences may be overcome by excessive salt intake. Thereby, we hypothesized that salt would promote proteinuria in transgenic female rats under conditions of excess tissue angiotensin (Ang) II and circulating aldosterone.
Materials and Methods
We utilized young female transgenic (mRen2)27 (Ren2) rats and Sprague-Dawley (SD) littermates and fed a high-salt diet (4%) over 3 weeks.
Compared to SD and Ren2 controls, female Ren2 rats fed a high-salt diet displayed increases in proteinuria, periarterial and interstitial fibrosis as well as ultrastructural evidence of basement membrane thickening, loss of mitochondrial elongation, mitochondrial fragmentation and attenuation of basilar canalicular infoldings. These findings occurred temporally with increases in transforming growth factor-β but not indices of oxidant stress.
Our current data suggest that a diet high in salt promotes progressive kidney injury as measured by proteinuria and fibrosis associated with transforming growth factor-β under conditions of excess tissue Ang II and circulating aldosterone.
PMCID: PMC4025048  PMID: 24847333
Angiotensin II; Transgenic (mRen2)27 rat; Proteinuria; Fibrosis; Reactive oxygen species

16.  Meal frequency differentially alters postprandial triacylglycerol and insulin concentrations in obese women 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2013;21(1):10.1002/oby.20247.
The aim of this study was to compare postprandial lipemia, oxidative stress, antioxidant activity, and insulinemia between a three and six isocaloric high carbohydrate meal frequency pattern in obese women. In a counterbalanced order eight obese women completed two, 12 h conditions in which they consumed 1500 calories (14% protein, 21% fat, and 65% carbohydrate) either as three 500 calorie liquid meals every 4 h or six 250 calorie liquid meals every 2 h. Blood samples were taken every 30 min and analyzed for triacylglycerol (TAG), total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, oxidized low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, myeloperoxidase, paraoxonase-1 activity, and insulin. The TAG incremental area under the curve (iAUC) during the three meal condition (321 ± 129 mg/dL·12 h) was significantly lower (P = 0.04) compared to the six meal condition (481 ± 155 mg/dL·12 h). The insulin iAUC during the three meal condition (5,549 ± 1,007 pmol/L·12 h) was significantly higher (P = 0.05) compared to the six meal condition (4,230 ± 757 pmol/L·12 h). Meal frequency had no influence on the other biochemical variables. Collectively, a three and six isocaloric high carbohydrate meal frequency pattern differentially alters postprandial TAG and insulin concentrations but has no effect on postprandial cholesterol, oxidative stress, or antioxidant activity in obese women.
PMCID: PMC3484202  PMID: 23505176
17.  Association Between Lack of Health Insurance and Risk of Death and ESRD: Results From the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) 
Uninsured adults in the United States have poor access to health care services and worse health outcomes than insured adults. Little is known about the association between lack of insurance and chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or death in patients at high risk of kidney disease. We used 2000–2011 data from the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) to examine this association.
The study population included KEEP participants younger than 65 years. Outcomes were time to ESRD (chronic kidney failure treated by renal replacement therapy) and time to death. Incident ESRD was ascertained by linkage to the US Renal Data System, and vital status, by linkage to the Social Security Administration Death Master File. We used Cox proportional hazard regression to examine the association between insurance and risk of death or ESRD after adjusting for demographic variables.
Of 86,588 participants, 27.8% had no form of insurance, 10.3% had public insurance, and 61.9% had private insurance; 15.0% had CKD (defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 or urine albumin-creatinine ratio ≥30 mg/g), 63.3% had hypertension, and 27.7% had diabetes. Of participants with CKD, 29.3% had no health insurance. Participants without insurance were younger, more likely to be Hispanic and to have 12 or fewer years of education, and less likely to have seen a physician in the past year. After adjustment for demographic characteristics, uninsured KEEP participants were 82% more likely than privately insured participants to die (HR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.56–2.12; P < 0.001) and 72% more likely to develop ESRD (HR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.33–2.22; P < 0.001). The association between insurance and outcomes varied by CKD stage.
Lack of insurance is an independent risk factor for early death and ESRD in this population at high risk of kidney disease. Considering the high morbidity and mortality and increasing cost associated with ESRD, access to appropriate health insurance coverage is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3739048  PMID: 23507267
Chronic kidney disease; end-stage renal disease; health insurance; mortality; public health
18.  Awareness of Kidney Disease and Relationship to End-Stage Renal Disease and Mortality 
The American Journal of Medicine  2012;125(7):661-669.
Patients with chronic kidney disease are often reported to be unaware. We prospectively evaluated the association between awareness of kidney disease to end-stage renal disease and mortality.
We utilized 2000–2009 data from the National Kidney Foundation-Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP™). Mortality was determined by cross reference to the Social Security Administration Death Master File, and development of end-stage by cross reference with the United States Renal Data System.
Of 109,285 participants, 28,244 (26%) had chronic kidney disease defined by albuminuria or eGFR <60ml/min/1.73m2. Only 9% (n=2660) reported being aware of kidney disease. Compared to those who were not aware, participants aware of chronic kidney disease had lower eGFR (49 vs 62ml/min/1.73m2) and a higher prevalence of albuminuria (52 vs 46%), diabetes (47 vs 42%), cardiovascular disease (43 vs 28%) and cancer (23 vs 14%). Over 8.5 years of follow-up, aware participants compared to those unaware had a lower rate of survival for end-stage (83% and 96%) and mortality (78 vs 81%), p<0.001 respectively. After adjustment for demographics, socioeconomic factors, comorbidity, and severity of kidney disease, aware participants continued to demonstrate an increased risk for end-stage renal disease [hazard ratio (95% CI) 1.37(1.07–1.75); p<0.0123] and mortality [1.27(1.07–1.52); p<0.0077] relative to unaware participants with chronic kidney disease.
Among persons identified as having chronic kidney disease at a health screening, only a small proportion had been made aware of their diagnosis previously by clinicians. This subgroup was at a disproportionately high risk for mortality and end-stage renal disease.
PMCID: PMC3383388  PMID: 22626510
KEEP; CKD; awareness; ESRD; mortality
19.  Access to Health Care Among Adults Evaluated for CKD: Findings From the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) 
Data are scant regarding access to health care in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). We performed descriptive analyses using data from the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP), a nationwide health screening program for adults at high risk of CKD.
From 2000–2010, a total of 122,502 adults without end-stage renal disease completed KEEP screenings; 27,927 (22.8%) met criteria for CKD (10,082, stages 1–2; 16,684, stage 3; and 1,161, stages 4–5). CKD awareness, self-rated health status, frequency of physician visits, difficulty obtaining medical care, types of caregivers, insurance status, and medication coverage and estimated costs were assessed.
Participants with CKD were more likely to report fair/poor health status than those without CKD. Health care utilization increased at later CKD stages; ~95% of participants at stages 3–5 had visited a physician during the preceding year compared with 83.7% of participants without CKD. More Hispanic and African American than white participants at all CKD stages reported not having a physician. Approximately 40% of participants younger than 65 years reported fair/poor health status at stages 4–5 compared with ~30% who were 65 years and older. Younger participants at all stages were more likely to report extreme or somewhat/moderate difficulty obtaining medical care. Comorbid conditions (diabetes, hypertension, and prior cardiovascular events) were associated with increased utilization of care. Utilization of nephrology care was poor at all CKD stages; <6% of participants at stage 3 and <30% at stages 4–5 reported ever seeing a nephrologist.
Lack of health insurance and perceived difficulty obtaining medical care with lower health care utilization, both of which are consistent with inadequate access to health care, are more likely for KEEP participants who are younger than 65 years, nonwhite, and without previously diagnosed comorbid conditions. Nephrology care is infrequent in elderly participants with advanced CKD who are nonwhite, have comorbid disease, and have high-risk states for cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC3694584  PMID: 22339901
Chronic kidney disease; health care access; health insurance; medication payment; socioeconomic status; educational status
20.  Combination Direct Renin Inhibition with Angiotensin Type 1 Receptor Blockade improves Aldosterone but does not improve Kidney Injury in the Transgenic Ren2 rat 
Regulatory Peptides  2012;176(1-3):36-44.
Enhanced renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) activation contributes to proteinuria and chronic kidney disease by increasing glomerular and tubulointerstitial oxidative stress, promotion of fibrosis. Renin activation is the rate limiting step in angiotensin (Ang II) and aldosterone generation, and recent work suggests direct renin inhibition improves proteinuria comparable to that seen with Ang type 1 receptor (AT1R) blockade. This is important as, even with contemporary use of AT1R blockade, the burden of kidney disease remains high. Thereby, we sought to determine if combination direct renin inhibition with AT1R blockade in vivo, via greater attenuation of kidney oxidative stress, would attenuate glomerular and proximal tubule injury to a greater extent than either intervention alone. We utilized the transgenic Ren2 rat with increased tissue RAS activity and higher serum levels of aldosterone, which manifests hypertension and proteinuria. Ren2 rats were treated with renin inhibition (aliskiren), AT1R blockade (valsartan), the combination (aliskiren+valsartan), or vehicle for 21 days. Compared to Sprague-Dawley controls, Ren2 rats displayed increased systolic pressure (SBP), circulating aldosterone, proteinuria and greater urine levels of the proximal tubule protein excretory marker beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase (β-NAG). These functional and biochemical alterations were accompanied by increases in kidney tissue NADPH oxidase subunit Rac1 and 3-nitrotyrosine (3-NT) content as well as fibronectin and collagen type III. These findings occurred in conjunction with reductions in the podocyte-specific protein podocin as well as the proximal tubule-specific megalin. Further, in transgenic animals there was increased tubulointerstitial fibrosis on light microscopy as well as ultrastructural findings of glomerular podocyte foot-process effacement and reduced tubular apical endosomal/lysosomal activity. Combination therapy led to greater reductions in SBP and serum aldosterone, but did not result in greater improvement in markers of glomerular and tubular injury (ie. β-NAG) compared to either intervention alone. Further, combination therapy did not improve markers of oxidative stress and podocyte and proximal tubule integrity in this transgenic model of RAAS-mediated kidney damage despite greater reductions in serum aldosterone and BP levels.
PMCID: PMC3348429  PMID: 22465166
Aldosterone; Combination; Renin inhibition; AT1R blockade; Podocyte; β-NAG; Oxidative Stress
21.  The Association between Parathyroid Hormone Levels and Hemoglobin in Diabetic and Nondiabetic Participants in the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Early Evaluation Program 
Cardiorenal Medicine  2013;3(2):120-127.
Both anemia and secondary hyperparathyroidism are reflections of hormonal failure in chronic kidney disease (CKD). While the association of elevated levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) and anemia has been studied among those with advanced CKD, less is known about this association in mild-to-moderate CKD.
In a cross-sectional analysis, the relationship between PTH and hemoglobin levels was investigated in 10,750 participants in the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Early Evaluation Program with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 ml/min/1.73 m2.
In the unadjusted analysis, higher PTH levels were associated with lower hemoglobin levels. However, after multivariable adjustment for age, race, gender, smoking status, education, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, albuminuria, BMI, baseline eGFR, calcium, and phosphorus, the direction of association changed. As compared to the first PTH quintile, hemoglobin levels were 0.09 g/dl (95% CI: 0.01-0.18), 0.15 g/dl (95% CI: 0.07-0.24), 0.18 g/dl (95% CI: 0.09-0.26), and 0.13 g/dl (95% CI: 0.07-0.25) higher for the second, third, fourth, and fifth quintiles, respectively. Similarly, each standard deviation increase in natural log transformed PTH was associated with a 0.06 g/dl (95% CI: 0.03-0.09, p = 0.0003) increase in hemoglobin. However, a significant effect modification was seen for diabetes (p = 0.0003). Each standard deviation increase in natural log transformed PTH was associated with a 0.10 g/dl (95% CI: 0.054-0.138, p < 0.0001) increase in hemoglobin, while no association was seen among those without diabetes mellitus.
After multivariable adjustment, there was a small positive association between PTH and hemoglobin among diabetics but not among nondiabetics.
PMCID: PMC3721130  PMID: 23922552
Chronic kidney disease; Anemia; Secondary hyperparathyroidism

22.  Physician Utilization, Risk-Factor Control, and CKD Progression Among Participants in the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) 
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular mortality, but little is known about the association between physician utilization and cardiovascular disease risk-factor control in patients with CKD. We used 2005–2010 data from the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) to examine this association at first and subsequent screenings.
Control of risk factors was defined as control of blood pressure, glycemia, and cholesterol levels. We used multinomial logistic regression to examine the association between participant characteristics and seeing a nephrologist after adjusting for kidney function and paired t tests or McNemar tests to compare characteristics at first and second screenings.
Of 90,009 participants, 61.3% had a primary care physician only, 2.9% had seen a nephrologist, and 15.3% had seen another specialist. The presence of 3 risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia) increased from 26.8% in participants with CKD stages 1–2 to 31.9% in those with stages 4–5. Target levels of all risk factors were achieved in 7.2% of participants without a physician, 8.3% of those with a primary care physician only, 9.9% of those with a nephrologist, and 10.3% of those with another specialist. Of up to 7,025 participants who met at least one criterion for nephrology consultation at first screening, only 12.3% reported seeing a nephrologist. Insurance coverage was associated strongly with seeing a nephrologist. Of participants who met criteria for nephrology consultation, 406 (5.8%) returned for a second screening, of whom 19.7% saw a nephrologist. The percentage of participants with all risk factors controlled was higher at the second screening (20.9% vs 13.3%).
Control of cardiovascular risk factors is poor in the KEEP population. The percentage of participants seeing a nephrologist is low, although better after the first screening. Identifying communication barriers between nephrologists and primary care physicians may be a new focus for KEEP.
PMCID: PMC3654535  PMID: 22339899
Cardiovascular disease risk factors; chronic kidney disease; nephrologist care; primary care
23.  Obesity, Diabetes, the Cardiorenal Syndrome, and Risk for Cancer 
Cardiorenal Medicine  2012;2(2):143-162.
Numerous epidemiological studies confirm that the prevalence of obesity and the cardiorenal metabolic syndrome (CRS) is extraordinarily high and that the rates have increased dramatically in the last three decades. In addition, epidemiological data demonstrate that obesity, the CRS, and diabetes are inextricably linked and are all associated with an increased incidence of a number of solid tissue cancers. The mechanisms for this association have been examined, including, but not limited to, higher levels of insulin and free levels of insulin-like growth factor and insulin resistance in obesity and the CRS. Mortality, morbidity, and the associated health care costs which are the link between obesity, the CRS, and diabetes are just beginning to be examined. In addition, we review the advantages of implementing lifestyle and surgical changes to modify obesity, lessening the development of the CRS, diabetes, and associated cancers. Epidemiological data regarding the general mechanisms of the pathogenesis of cancers associated with obesity, the CRS, and diabetes (specifically colon, pancreas, esophageal, liver, breast, prostate, thyroid, and renal carcinomas) are reviewed. The mechanisms by which obesity and other components of the CRS contribute to the pathogenesis of these cancers, such as hormone alterations and insulin- and insulin-like growth factor-dependent pathways of tumor pathogenesis, include the attending roles of inflammation and oxidative stress. Emphasis has been placed on obesity as a modifiable risk factor which, when addressed, provides a reduction in the rate of cancer deaths. In a second part to be published in the next issue of this journal, the relationship between diabetes and cancer will be reviewed in detail.
PMCID: PMC3376338  PMID: 22851963
Insulin resistance; Cancer; Inflammation; Oxidative stress
24.  DPP-4 Inhibitors as Therapeutic Modulators of Immune Cell Function and Associated Cardiovascular and Renal Insulin Resistance in Obesity and Diabetes 
Cardiorenal Medicine  2013;3(1):48-56.
The prevalence of obesity and diabetes continues to rise in the United States and worldwide. These findings parallel the expansion of childhood obesity and diabetes. Obesity is a central component of the cardiorenal metabolic syndrome (CRS) which increases the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD). The hallmark of obesity, CRS, and early type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance, a result of decreased insulin metabolic signaling due, in part, to enhanced serine phosphorylation and/or proteasome-mediated degradation of the insulin receptor substrate. Cardiovascular and renal insulin resistance significantly contributes to endothelial dysfunction, impaired cardiac diastolic and vascular relaxation, glomerular injury, and tubular dysfunction. In this context, multiple factors including oxidative stress, increased inflammation, and inappropriate activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone and the sympathetic nervous system contribute to overweight- and obesity-induced systemic and tissue insulin resistance. One common link between obesity and the development of insulin resistance appears to be a low-grade inflammatory response resulting from dysfunctional innate and adaptive immunity. In this regard, there has been recent work on the role of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) in modulating innate and adaptive immunity. The direct effects of DPP-4 on immune cells and the indirect effects through GLP-1-dependent and -independent pathways suggest effects of DPP-4 inhibition may have beneficial effects beyond glycemic control in improving CVD and renal outcomes. Accordingly, this review addresses new insights into the role of DPP-4 in immune modulation and the potential beneficial effects of DPP-4 inhibitors in insulin resistance and associated CVD and CKD prevention.
PMCID: PMC3743398  PMID: 23946724
DPP-4; Cardiorenal syndrome; Obesity; Diabetes; Insulin resistance

Results 1-25 (72)