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Impaired renal function and major cardiovascular events in young adults

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Background — Cardiovascular (CV) disease in young adults (aged 18-39 years) is on the rise. Whether subclinical reductions in kidney function (ie, estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] above the current threshold for chronic kidney disease but below age-expected values) are associated with elevated CV risk is unknown.

Objectives — The goal of this study was to examine age-specific associations of subclinical eGFR reductions in young adults with major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) and MACE plus heart failure (MACE+).

Methods — A retrospective cohort study of 8.7 million individuals (3.6 million aged 18-39 years) was constructed using linked provincial healthcare data sets from Ontario, Canada (January 2008-March 2021). Cox models were used to examine the association of categorized eGFR (50-120 mL/min/1.73 m2) with MACE (first of CV mortality, acute coronary syndrome, and ischemic stroke) and MACE+, stratified according to age (18-39, 40-49, and 50-65 years).

Results — In the study cohort (mean age 41.3 years; mean eGFR 104.2 mL/min/1.73 m2; median follow-up 9.2 years), a stepwise increase in the relative risk of MACE and MACE+ was observed as early as eGFR <80 mL/min/1.73 m2 in young adults (eg, for MACE, at eGFR 70-79 mL/min/1.73 m2, ages 18-30 years: 2.37 events per 1,000 person years [HR: 1.31; 95% CI: 1.27-1.40]; ages 40-49 years: 6.26 events per 1,000 person years [HR: 1.09; 95% CI: 1.06-1.12]; ages 50-65 years: 14.9 events per 1,000 person years [HR: 1.07; 95% CI: 1.05-1.08]). Results persisted for each MACE component and in additional analyses (stratifying according to past CV disease, accounting for albuminuria at index, and using repeated eGFR measures).

Conclusions — In young adults, eGFR below age-expected values were associated with an elevated risk for MACE and MACE+, warranting age-appropriate risk stratification, proactive monitoring, and timely intervention.

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Citation

Hussain J, Imsirovic H, Canney M, Clark EG, Elliott MJ, Ravani P, Tanuseputro P, Akbari A, Hundemer GL, Ramsay T, Tangri N, Knoll GA, Sood MM. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2023; 82(13):1316-27. Epub 2023 Sep 18.

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