The association between eGFR in the normal or mildly impaired range and incident cadiovascular disease: Age and sex analysis


      • Higher eGFR even in the normal range is associated with lower incident CVD.
      • Whether this association is consistent across all ages and sexes is unknown.
      • Our findings are from a large population-based cohort without prior CVD.
      • An increase in eGFR in the normal range was associated with lower incident CVD.
      • This association was evident in both sexes and across all ages.



      Worse renal function, even in the normal or mildly impaired range, is associated with incident cardiovascular disease (CVD). Whether this association exists in both sexes across all ages is not known.


      A population based cohort of individuals >22 years with no prior CVD and with an eGFR 60–130 ml/min/1.73 m2. eGFR was calculated using the CKD-EPI formula. Incident CVD was defined as either myocardial infarction, unstable angina pectoris, coronary revascularization, or cerebrovascular event. Incident CVD was examined separately in men and women in 3 age-groups (young, 22–40 years; middle-aged, 41–60 years; and elderly, ≥61 years), during a median follow-up of 96.0 months.


      Among 1,341,400 individuals (57% women, mean age 49.2 ± 16.6 years), men had more incident CVD as compared to women (34,968 vs. 23,515 total incident CVD) in all age-groups (0.6% vs. 0.2% in young; 6.2% vs. 2.0% in middle-aged; 13.4% vs. 8.4% in elderly, respectively). After adjustment for CVD risk factors, an increment of 10 units in eGFR was independently associated with a decrease of 5.4%, 3.4% and 5.4% in incident CVD in young, middle-aged and elderly men (p < 0.001 for each) and a decrease of 6.3%, 3.4% and 6.8% in the same age-groups in women (p < 0.001 for each). There was no significant age-sex interaction in the association between eGFR and incident CVD.


      Although incident CVD differs in men and women, as well as in different age-groups, a higher eGFR even in the normal or mildly impaired range is associated with lesser incident CVD in men and women of all ages.


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