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1.  The association between vitamin B12, albuminuria and reduced kidney function: an observational cohort study 
BMC Nephrology  2015;16:7.
Variants in CUBN, the gene encoding cubilin, a proximal tubular transport protein, have been associated with albuminuria and vitamin B12 (B12) deficiency. We hypothesized that low levels of B12 would be associated with albuminuria in a population-based cohort.
We analyzed participants from the Framingham Heart Study (n = 2965, mean age 58 years, 53% female) who provided samples for plasma B12. Logistic regression models adjusted for covariates including homocysteine were constructed to test the association between B12 and prevalent albuminuria (UACR ≥17 mg/g [men] and ≥25 mg/g [women]) and reduced kidney function (defined as an eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2, RKF). Because of a significant interaction between B12 and homocysteine in the prevalent RKF model (p = 0.005), the model was stratified by the median homocysteine levels. Logistic regression models were constructed to test the association between B12 and incident albuminuria and RKF. The results were replicated in 4445 participants from NHANES 2003–2004.
Baseline B12 levels ranged from 50-1690 pg/ml. Elevated B12 was associated with prevalent albuminuria (OR 1.44 per 1 SD increase, 95% CI 1.10-1.87) and RKF (OR 1.83, 95% CI 1.30-2.60). However after stratifying by median homocysteine levels, this relationship remained only in the higher homocysteine stratum. There was no association between B12 and incident albuminuria (OR 1.17, 95% CI 0.79 – 1.73) or RKF (OR 1.45, 95% CI 0.97 – 1.88). In the NHANES cohort, elevated B12 was associated with RKF after full covariate adjustment (OR 3.06, 95% CI 2.30-4.08). There was no association with albuminuria.
In participants with high baseline homocysteine levels, increased plasma B12 was associated with RKF.
PMCID: PMC4361211  PMID: 25644490
Homocysteine; Albuminuria; Vitamin B12; Reduced kidney function
2.  Development and reproducibility of a computed tomography-based measurement of renal sinus fat 
BMC Nephrology  2011;12:52.
Renal sinus fat may mediate obesity-related vascular disease, although this fat depot has not been assessed in a community-based sample. We sought to develop a protocol to quantify renal sinus fat accumulation using multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT).
Protocol development was performed in participants in the Framingham Offspring cohort who underwent MDCT. Volumetric renal sinus fat was measured separately within the right and left kidneys, and renal sinus fat area within a single MDCT scan slice was measured in the right kidney. Due to the high correlation of volumetric and single-slice renal sinus fat in the right kidney (Pearson correlation [r] = 0.85, p < 0.0001), we optimized a single-slice protocol to capture renal sinus fat in the right kidney alone. Pearson correlation coefficients were used to compare to assess the correlation of volumetric and single-slice renal sinus fat in the right kidney with other measures of adiposity. Inter- and intra-reader reproducibility was assessed using intra-class correlation coefficients.
Single-slice measurements were obtained in 92 participants (mean age 60 years, 49% women, median renal sinus fat 0.43 cm2). Intra- and inter-reader intra-class correlation coefficients were 0.93 and 0.86, respectively. Single-slice renal sinus fat was correlated with body mass index (r = 0.35, p = 0.0006), waist circumference (r = 0.31, p = 0.003), and abdominal visceral fat (r = 0.48, p < 0.0001). Similar correlations were observed for volumetric renal sinus fat in the right kidney.
Measuring renal sinus fat is feasible and reproducible using MDCT scans in a community-based sample.
PMCID: PMC3198884  PMID: 21970591
3.  The relation of C - reactive protein to chronic kidney disease in African Americans: the Jackson Heart Study 
BMC Nephrology  2010;11:1.
African Americans have an increased incidence and worse prognosis with chronic kidney disease (CKD - estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] <60 ml/min/1.73 m2) than their counterparts of European-descent. Inflammation has been related to renal disease in non-Hispanic whites, but there are limited data on the role of inflammation in renal dysfunction in African Americans in the community.
We examined the cross-sectional relation of log transformed C-reactive protein (CRP) to renal function (eGFR by Modification of Diet and Renal Disease equation) in African American participants of the community-based Jackson Heart Study's first examination (2000 to 2004). We conducted multivariable linear regression relating CRP to eGFR adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, diabetes, total/HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, smoking, antihypertensive therapy, lipid lowering therapy, hormone replacement therapy, and prevalent cardiovascular disease events. In a secondary analysis we assessed the association of CRP with albuminuria (defined as albumin-to-creatinine ratio > 30 mg/g).
Participants (n = 4320, 63.2% women) had a mean age ± SD of 54.0 ± 12.8 years. The prevalence of CKD was 5.2% (n = 228 cases). In multivariable regression, CRP concentrations were higher in those with CKD compared to those without CKD (mean CRP 3.2 ± 1.1 mg/L vs. 2.4 ± 1.0 mg/L, respectively p < 0.0001). CRP was significantly associated with albuminuria in sex and age adjusted model however not in the multivariable adjusted model (p > 0.05).
CRP was associated with CKD however not albuminuria in multivariable-adjusted analyses. The study of inflammation in the progression of renal disease in African Americans merits further investigation.
PMCID: PMC2826325  PMID: 20078870
4.  Age-related associations of hypertension and diabetes mellitus with chronic kidney disease 
BMC Nephrology  2009;10:17.
Studies suggest end-stage renal disease incidence and all-cause mortality rates among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) differ by age. The association of diabetes mellitus and hypertension with CKD across the adult lifespan is not well established.
Data from NHANES 1999–2004 were used to determine the association of risk factors for stage 3 or 4 CKD (n = 12,518) and albuminuria (n = 12,778) by age grouping (20 to 49, 50 to 69, and ≥70 years). Stage 3 or 4 CKD was defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate of 15 to 59 ml/min/1.73 m2 and albuminuria as an albumin to creatinine ratio ≥30 mg/g.
For adults 20 to 49, 50 to 69 and ≥70 years of age, the prevalence ratios (95% confidence interval) of stage 3 or 4 CKD associated with hypertension were 1.94 (0.86 – 4.35), 1.51 (1.09 – 2.07), 1.31 (1.15 – 1.49), respectively (p-trend = 0.038). The analogous prevalence ratios (95% confidence interval) were 3.01 (1.35 – 6.74), 1.61 (1.15 – 2.25), 1.40 (1.15 – 1.69), respectively, for diagnosed diabetes mellitus (p-trend = 0.067); and 2.67 (0.53 – 13.4), 1.35 (0.69 – 2.63), 1.08 (0.78 – 1.51), respectively, for undiagnosed diabetes mellitus (p-trend = 0.369). The prevalence ratios of albuminuria associated with hypertension and diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes mellitus were lower at older age (each p < 0.05).
Among US adults, diabetes mellitus and hypertension are associated with CKD and albuminuria regardless of age. However, the associations were stronger at younger ages.
PMCID: PMC2714514  PMID: 19563681

Results 1-4 (4)