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1.  Metabolic Syndrome, Components, and Cardiovascular Disease Prevalence in Chronic Kidney Disease: Findings from the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study 
American Journal of Nephrology  2011;33(6):477-484.
Metabolic syndrome may increase the risk for incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality in the general population. It is unclear whether, and to what degree, metabolic syndrome is associated with CVD in chronic kidney disease (CKD). We determined metabolic syndrome prevalence among individuals with a broad spectrum of kidney dysfunction, examining the role of the individual elements of metabolic syndrome and their relationship to prevalent CVD.
We evaluated four models to compare metabolic syndrome or its components to predict prevalent CVD using prevalence ratios in the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study.
Among 3,939 CKD participants, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 65% and there was a significant association with prevalent CVD. Metabolic syndrome was more common in diabetics (87.5%) compared with non-diabetics (44.3%). Hypertension was the most prevalent component, and increased triglycerides the least prevalent. Using the bayesian information criterion, we found that the factors defining metabolic syndrome, considered as a single interval-scaled variable, was the best of four models of metabolic syndrome, both for CKD participants overall and for diabetics and non-diabetics separately.
The predictive value of this model for future CVD outcomes will subsequently be validated in longitudinal analyses.
PMCID: PMC3095834  PMID: 21525746
Cardiovascular disease; Chronic kidney disease; Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study; Metabolic syndrome
2.  Variability of Creatinine Measurements in Clinical Laboratories: Results from the CRIC Study 
American Journal of Nephrology  2010;31(5):426-434.
Estimating equations using serum creatinine (SCr) are often used to assess glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Such creatinine (Cr)-based formulae may produce biased estimates of GFR when using Cr measurements that have not been calibrated to reference laboratories. In this paper, we sought to examine the degree of this variation in Cr assays in several laboratories associated with academic medical centers affiliated with the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study; to consider how best to correct for this variation, and to quantify the impact of such corrections on eligibility for participation in CRIC. Variability of Cr is of particular concern in the conduct of CRIC, a large multicenter study of subjects with chronic renal disease, because eligibility for the study depends on Cr-based assessment of GFR.
A library of 5 large volume plasma specimens from apheresis patients was assembled, representing levels of plasma Cr from 0.8 to 2.4 mg/dl. Samples from this library were used for measurement of Cr at each of the 14 CRIC laboratories repetitively over time. We used graphical displays and linear regression methods to examine the variability in Cr, and used linear regression to develop calibration equations. We also examined the impact of the various calibration equations on the proportion of subjects screened as potential participants who were actually eligible for the study.
There was substantial variability in Cr assays across laboratories and over time. We developed calibration equations for each laboratory; these equations varied substantially among laboratories and somewhat over time in some laboratories. The laboratory site contributed the most to variability (51% of the variance unexplained by the specimen) and variation with time accounted for another 15%. In some laboratories, calibration equations resulted in differences in eligibility for CRIC of as much as 20%.
The substantial variability in SCr assays across laboratories necessitates calibration of SCr measures to a common standard. Failing to do so may substantially affect study eligibility and clinical interpretations when they are determined by Cr-based estimates of GFR.
PMCID: PMC2883847  PMID: 20389058
Chronic renal disease; Creatinine measurements, variability; Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) Study; Glomerular filtration rate
3.  Effects of Renal Replacement Therapy on Plasma Lipoprotein(a) Levels 
American Journal of Nephrology  2007;28(3):361-365.
Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) have significantly higher levels of lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] when compared to control populations. Elevated levels of Lp(a) may play a role in the high incidence of cardiovascular disease in ESRD. We conducted a prospective study to test the hypothesis that plasma levels of Lp(a) decline rapidly after renal transplantation proportional to the improvement in renal function, but are not affected by hemodialysis. All adults that initiated hemodialysis or received a renal transplant from our institution during a 10-month period were invited to participate in the study. Lp(a) levels were obtained immediately prior to the initiation of renal replacement therapy. In transplant recipients, repeat Lp(a) measures were done at 3 days, 5 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks and 4 weeks post-transplant. In hemodialysis patients, repeat Lp(a) measures were done after 3 months. We used a mixed effects model to analyze the effect of time, race and creatinine on Lp(a) after transplant. Lp(a) levels decreased rapidly after renal transplantation. Mean Lp(a) levels at 2 weeks were 35.3% lower than prior to transplantation. Each reduction of 50% in creatinine was associated with a 10.6% reduction in Lp(a) (p < 0.001). In contrast, there was no significant change in Lp(a) after initiation of hemodialysis. The rapid decrease of Lp(a) levels after renal transplantation provides support for a metabolic role of the kidney in Lp(a) catabolism and suggests that the increase in Lp(a) seen in chronic kidney disease is due to loss of functioning renal tissue.
PMCID: PMC2786011  PMID: 18057868
Renal transplantation; Cardiovascular risk factors; Clinical epidemiology; Lipoprotein(a)

Results 1-3 (3)