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PLoS One. 2016 Aug 18;11(8):e0160225. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0160225. eCollection 2016.

Inflammation as a Risk of Developing Chronic Kidney Disease in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

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Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology and Neurology, University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine, Nishihara, Okinawa, Japan.
Yuuaikai Nanbu Hospital, Itoman, Okinawa, Japan.
Dialysis Unit, University Hospital of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Okinawa, Japan.
Yuuaikai Tomishiro Central Hospital, Tomigusuku, Okinawa, Japan.
Okinawa Heart and Renal Association, Naha, Okinawa, Japan.



The relationship between chronic inflammation and the incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) remained not-clear in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). This study aims to examine the relationship between persistently high C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, and the incidence of CKD in RA.


We retrospectively examined the relationship between the levels of CRP and incidence of CKD in 345 RA patients. The outcome of interest was incidence of CKD, defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 and/or positive dipstick testing for proteinuria for ≥3 months. We defined high CRP, as >3.0 mg/L. On the basis of three measurements of CRP for 6-months period, patients were divided into three groups: group 1, including patients with no high CRP values; group 2, patients with transient high CRP values (once or twice) and group 3, patients with persistently high CRP values.


During a median follow-up period of 89 months, 14% of all patients developed CKD. The cumulative incidence of CKD was 7% in group 1, 14% in group 2 and 22% in group 3 (P = 0.008, log-rank test). In a multivariate analysis, including classical risk factors for CKD, persistently high CRP was an independent predictor of the incidence of CKD (hazard ratio, 3.00; 95% confidence interval, 1.23-8.53; P = 0.01).


Persistently high CRP was a significant risk factor for the incidence of CKD. Results suggest that persistent inflammation is a marker for the high risk of CKD in RA.

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