Risk factor analysis for a rapid progression of chronic kidney disease

Anne H S Vestergaard, Simon K Jensen, Uffe Heide-Jørgensen, Line E Frederiksen, Henrik Birn, Dorte E Jarbøl, Jens Søndergaard, Frederik Persson, Reimar W Thomsen, Christian F Christiansen


BACKGROUND: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing global health concern. Identifying individuals in routine clinical care with new onset CKD at high risk of rapid progression of the disease is imperative to guide allocation of prophylactic interventions, but community-based data are limited. We aimed to examine the risk of rapid progression, kidney failure, hospitalisation and death among adults with incident CKD stage G3 and to clarify the association between predefined risk markers and rapid CKD progression.

METHODS: Using plasma creatinine measurements for the entire Danish population from both hospitals and primary care, we conducted a nationwide, population-based cohort study, including adults in Denmark with incident CKD stage G3 in 2017-2020. We estimated 3-year risks of rapid progression (defined by a confirmed decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate of ≥5 ml/min/1.73 m2/year), kidney failure, all-cause hospitalisation and death. To examine risk markers, we constructed a heat map showing the risk of rapid progression based on predefined markers: albuminuria, sex, diabetes and hypertension/cardiovascular disease.

RESULTS: Among 133 443 individuals with incident CKD stage G3, the 3-year risk of rapid progression was 14.6% (95% confidence interval (CI): 14.4-14.8). The 3-year risks of kidney failure, hospitalisation and death were 0.3% (95% CI: 0.3-0.4), 53.3% (95% CI: 53.0-53.6) and 18.1% (95% CI: 17.9-18.4), respectively. In the heat map, the 3-year risk of rapid progression ranged from 7% in females without albuminuria, hypertension/cardiovascular disease or diabetes, to 46-47% in males and females with severe albuminuria, hypertension/cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

CONCLUSION: This population-based study shows that CKD stage G3 is associated with considerable morbidity in a community-based setting and underscores the need for optimised prophylactic interventions among such patients. Moreover, our data highlight the potential of using easily accessible markers in routine clinical care to identify individuals who are at high risk of rapid progression.


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