Chronic kidney disease associated with increased risk of death regardless of age

Published on November 1, 2012 at 1:09 AM · No Comments

A new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Chronic Kidney Disease Prognosis Consortium found that chronic kidney disease and its complications were associated with a higher risk of death regardless of age. The findings were presented October 30 at the American Society of Nephrology conference in San Diego, Ca. and published in latest issue of JAMA.

Chronic kidney disease prevalence increases dramatically with age from 4 percent at age 20-39 to 54 percent of adults over age 75 in the populations studied. This led some groups to question whether kidney disease at older ages is associated with increased risk and even whether the accepted definition of chronic kidney disease should be changed. Kidney disease is measured by estimating kidney function (glomerular filtration rate, GFR), and kidney damage is often quantified by measuring albumin, the major protein in the urine standardized for urine concentration.

According to the study, both low kidney function and high albuminuria were independently associated with mortality and end-stage renal disease regardless of age. Among the general populations examined and groups at high risk for kidney disease, the study found that relative mortality risk decreased with age in participants with low kidney function while absolute excess risk increased. For participants with high albuminuria, the reductions in relative risk were less apparent while increases in absolute risk were higher among older participants.

"By collaborating with many of the world's leading studies, we were able to see a clear pattern showing that both of the current indicators of chronic kidney disease are strongly associated with risk, even at older age," said Josef Coresh, MD, PhD, MHS, the Consortium's principal investigator and professor in the Bloomberg School's Department of Epidemiology.

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