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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2009 Mar;64(3):370-6. doi: 10.1093/gerona/gln037. Epub 2009 Jan 30.

Serum creatinine and functional limitation in elderly persons.

Author information

  • 1Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, USA. michelleodden@berkeley.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Creatinine is a commonly used measure of kidney function, but serum levels are also influenced by muscle mass. We hypothesized that higher serum creatinine would be associated with self-reported functional limitation in community-dwelling elderly.

METHODS:

Subjects (n = 1,553) were participants in the Study of Physical Performance and Age-Related Changes in Sonomans, a cohort to study aging and physical function. We explored three strategies to account for the effects of muscle mass on serum creatinine.

RESULTS:

We observed a J-shaped association of creatinine with functional limitation. Above the study-specific mean creatinine (0.97 mg/dL in women and 1.15 mg/dL in men), the unadjusted odds ratio of functional limitation per standard deviation (0.20 mg/dL in women and 0.23 mg/dL in men) higher creatinine was 2.27 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.75-2.94, p < .001) in women and 1.42 (95% CI 1.12-1.80, p = .003) in men. This association was inverted in persons with creatinine levels below the mean. Adjustment for muscle mass did not have an important effect on the association between creatinine and functional limitation. These associations remained after multivariable adjustment for demographics and health conditions but were statistically significant only in women.

CONCLUSIONS:

In elderly adults, higher creatinine levels are associated with functional limitation, consistent with prior literature that has demonstrated reduced physical performance in persons with kidney disease. However, the association of low creatinine levels with functional limitation suggests that creatinine levels are influenced by factors other than kidney function and muscle mass in the elderly.

PMID:
19181716
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2655007
Free PMC Article

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