Inflammatory Markers Predict Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease

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Elevated levels of certain inflammatory markers are associated with an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD), a study found.

The population-based study, which included a cohort of 4,926 individuals, divided subjects into tertiles based on their baseline serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-α receptor 2 (TNF-αR2), and interleukin-6 (IL-6), and serum white blood cell (WBC) count, all markers of inflammation.

After adjusting for multiple variables, including diabetes and hypertension, subjects in the highest tertile of TNF-αR2 and WBC count had a twofold increased risk of developing CKD over a 15-year follow-up period compared with subjects in the lowest tertile, according to a research team led by Anoop Shankar, MD, of the West Virginia School of Medicine in Morgantown. Patients in the highest tertile of interleukin-6 levels had a 45% increased risk. CRP level was not associated with CKD risk.

“Results from our study further extend the current understanding of the role of inflammatory markers in the pathogenesis of CKD,” Dr. Shankar's team wrote in Kidney International (2011;80:1231-1238).

In addition, the authors concluded: “A practical application of our findings is that, if replicated in other studies, these markers may be a potential future way of assessing subjects who are more likely to develop CKD.”

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