Carotid intima-media thickness and incident ESRD: The atherosclerosis risk in communities (ARIC) study

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Background and objectives Carotid intima-media thickness has been reported to predict kidney function decline. However,whether carotid intima-media thickness is associatedwith a hard kidney end point, ESRD, has not been investigated. Design, setting, participants, & measurements We studied 13,197 Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities participants at visit 1 (1987-1989) without history of cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure, at baseline and assessed whether carotid intima-media thickness measured by B-mode ultrasound is associated with ESRD risk using Cox proportional hazards models. Regarding carotid intimamedia thickness parameters, we investigated the mean and maximum values of overall and segment-specific (common, bifurcation, and internal carotid arteries) measurements. Results Mean age was 54.0 (SD=5.7) years old, and there were 3373 (25.6%) blacks and 7370 (55.8%) women. During a median follow-up of 22.7 years, 433 participants developed ESRD (1.4/1000 person-years). After adjusting for shared risk factors for atherosclerosis and kidney disease, including baseline kidney function, carotid intima-media thicknesswas significantly associated with ESRD risk (hazard ratio [HR] between quartiles 4 and 1, 1.46; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.02 to 2.08 for overall mean intima-media thickness and HR between quartiles 4 and 1, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.24 to 2.48 for overall maximum intima-media thickness). The associations were largely consistent in demographic and clinical subgroups. When we explored segment-specific intima-media thicknesses, the associations with ESRD were most robust for bifurcation carotid (e.g., adjusted HR between quartiles 4 and 1 of mean intima-media thickness, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.04 to 2.13 for bifurcation; adjusted HR between quartiles 4 and 1 of mean intima-media thickness, 1.36; 95% CI, 0.94 to 1.97 for common; and adjusted HR between quartiles 4 and 1 of mean intima-media thickness, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.67 to 1.29 for internal). Conclusions Carotid intima-media thickness was independently associated with incident ESRD in the general population, suggesting the shared etiology of atherosclerosis and ESRD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1197-1205
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Coronary artery disease
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Epidemiology and outcomes
  • Heart failure
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation

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