ATLANTA—Adherence to a Mediterranean-style diet is associated with a reduced risk for chronic kidney disease and a slower rate of renal function decline, according to new findings presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week 2013.

In a study of participants in the Northern Manhattan Study, Minesh Khatri, MD, and colleagues at Columbia University in New York administered a dietary questionnaire at baseline from which elements of a Mediterranean diet were extrapolated into a previously used nine-point scoring system (MeDi) that was associated with cerebrovascular disease outcomes in this cohort. The Northern Manhattan Study is a prospective, community-based, multi-ethnic cohort that was stroke-free at baseline.

Investigators measured serum creatinine at baseline and at follow-up, which was a mean 6.9 years. The primary outcomes was the development of CKD, defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) below 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 determined using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) study equation.

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The study population included 900 individuals with a mean age at baseline of 64 years. Fifty-nine  percent of subjects were women, 65% were Hispanic, 19% had diabetes, and 69% had hypertension. The mean baseline eGFR was 83, with a mean annualized decline of 1.1. CKD developed in 14% of participants.

In multivariate analysis, each one-point increase in adherence to MeDi was associated with a significant 17% decreased odds of CKD and a significant 14% decreased odds of being in the upper quartile of eGFR decline.