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Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Mar 15;169(6):740-8. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwn392. Epub 2009 Jan 8.

The differential association of kidney dysfunction with small and large arterial elasticity: the multiethnic study of atherosclerosis.

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  • 1General Internal Medicine Section 111A1, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, CA 94124, USA.


Vascular remodeling may be a mechanism linking chronic kidney disease to cardiovascular disease. Whether early kidney dysfunction is associated with small and large arterial remodeling is not well understood. Using multivariable linear regression, back-transforming beta-coefficients to relative difference, the authors studied the association of cystatin C, creatinine-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR), and albuminuria with small (SAE) and large (LAE) arterial elasticity and aortic distensibility among 6,282 participants in the Multiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis at baseline (2000-2002). Compared with the lowest quintile, higher quintiles of cystatin C were incrementally associated with lower SAE: third quintile relative difference = -5% (95% confidence interval (CI): -8, -2); fourth quintile relative difference = -10% (95% CI: -13, -8); and highest quintile relative difference = -16% (95% CI: -20, -12). By use of creatinine, the association was observed only among those with chronic kidney disease (estimated GFR, <60 mL/minute/1.73 m(2)): relative difference = -9% (95% CI: -13, -4). Albuminuria was significantly associated with lower SAE: relative difference = -6% (95% CI: -10, -1). Cystatin C was associated with lower LAE only at the highest quintile (relative difference = -3%, 95% CI: -6, 0) compared with the lowest quintile. By use of creatinine, chronic kidney disease was not independently associated with LAE (P = 0.912). Cystatin C, estimated GFR, and albuminuria were not associated with aortic distensibility (P = 0.26, 0.48, 0.45). Early kidney dysfunction is significantly associated with decreased arterial elasticity in smaller arteries and, to a lesser degree, in larger arteries.

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