Background: TGF-β is induced in the vasculature with aging suggesting that high plasma TGF-β levels may be a risk factor for chronic kidney disease (CKD) in older adults. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the association between plasma TGF-β levels and CKD including data for 1722 older adults who had participated in the 1996/97 visit of the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS). Prevalent CKD was defined as eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 or urinary albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR) ≥30 mg/g. We also evaluated whether baseline TGF-β levels predicted change in eGFR, cardiovascular (CV) events, or mortality in longitudinal analysis. Results: Plasma TGF-β levels were significantly and independently associated with lower eGFR in cross-sectional analysis. Doubling of TGF-β was significantly associated with lower eGFR (β estimate after adjusting for CV risk factors = −1.18, 95% CI −2.03, −0.32). We observed no association with albuminuria. There was no association between baseline TGF-β and change in eGFR, but each doubling of TGF-β at baseline was associated with increased risk of a composite outcome of CV events and mortality, adjusted HR 1.10 (95% C.I. 1.02- 1.20, p = 0.006). Conclusion: In this large cohort of community-dwelling older individuals, high plasma TGF-β levels are modestly, but independently associated with lower eGFR but not with albuminuria in cross-sectional analysis. In addition, TGF-β levels are associated with increased risk of CV events and mortality. Further research is needed to determine the direction of association between plasma TGF-β and the risk of CKD and CKD-associated morbidities in older adults.
- Older adults
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