Researchers have found a strong association between age and nephrosclerosis in healthy adults, and this association is not explained by kidney function and CKD risk factors, according to a report in Annals of Internal Medicine (2010;152:561-567).

Data from 1,203 adult living kidney donors—obtained from core-needle biopsy of the renal cortex during transplantation, medical records of kidney function, and risk factor information—indicate that the signs of chronic mild renal injury increase with age and are present even when kidney function is normal and testing reveals no damage. Nephrosclerosis (as evidenced by glomerulosclerosis, tubular atrophy, interstitial fibrosis, and arteriosclerosis) was present in 2.7% of subjects aged 18-29 years compared with 73% of those aged 70-77 years, according to a research team led by Andrew D. Rule, MD, MSc, of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Adjustment for kidney function and CKD risk factors did not explain the age-related increase in the prevalence of nephrosclerosis.