Higher indices of arterial stiffness are associated with steeper declines in renal function and an increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a new study.

The finding suggests that vascular stiffness could be considered a target for delaying renal function decline, researchers led by Abbas Dehghan, MD, of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands reported online ahead of print in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Dr. Dehgham and colleagues studied 3,666 participants in the Rotterdam Study. After a median follow-up time of 11 years, CKD developed in 601 subjects, each standard deviation (SD) increment in pulse pressure was associated with a 0.15 mL/min/1.73 m2 steeper annual decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and 11% increased risk of incident CKD. In addition, each SD increment in carotid stiffness was associated with a 0.08 mL/min/1.73 m2 steep decline in eGFR and 13% increased risk of incident CKD. Each SD increment in pulse wave velocity was associated with a 7% increased risk of incident CKD.

Continue Reading

The researchers also conducted a meta-analysis of the available population-based studies looking at arterial stiffness and incident CKD. When they incorporated their findings in the meta-analysis, they found that each SD increment in pulse pressure and pulse wave velocity were associated with a 16% and 8% increased risk of incident CKD, respectively.

“Currently, major strategies to prevent CKD are focused on conventional cardiovascular risk factors, and in this study, we showed that vascular stiffness independent of cardiovascular risk factors is associated with decline in kidney function,” the authors concluded.