(HealthDay News) — High circulating levels of an inflammatory marker, soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor-1 (sTNFR-1), are linked to long-term decline of kidney function, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Pavan K. Bhatraju, MD, from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues evaluated associations between baseline sTNFR-1 concentrations and 10-year decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) among 2548 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Serum creatinine concentrations were measured at enrollment and at 3, 5, and 10 years.

The researchers found that serum sTNFR-1 was inversely associated with baseline eGFR. During a median of 9.3 years of follow-up, 110 participants developed ≥40% decline in eGFR. Each standard deviation higher concentration of sTNFR1 was associated with a higher risk of 40% eGFR decline (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.43). There was an association between the highest sTNFR-1 tertile and adjusted annualized decline in eGFR (1.94%). Results were similar across demographics, hypertension, diabetes, and baseline chronic kidney disease status.

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“Our studies identify a novel marker that is strongly related to kidney function decline over time in a large multi-ethnic cohort and suggest follow up studies are warranted to investigate the potential role of sTNFR-1 in the development of kidney function decline,” Bhatraju said in a statement.

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Bhatraju PK, Zelnick LR, Shlipak M, Katz R, and Kestenbaum B. Association of Soluble TNFR-1 Concentrations with Long-Term Decline in Kidney Function: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. J Am Soc Nephrol. October 2018, ASN.2018070719. DOI:10.1681/ASN.2018070719