Chronic kidney disease measures and the risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm


      • Chronic kidney disease was positively related to incident clinical abdominal aortic aneurysm.
      • Both kidney function and damage showed independent associations.
      • We also confirmed greater ultrasound-based aortic diameter related to chronic kidney disease.


      Background and aims

      Despite its strong link to cardiovascular outcomes, the association of chronic kidney disease (CKD) with abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) has not been explicitly and comprehensively investigated.


      In 10,724 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (aged 53–75 years during 1996–1998), we evaluated the associations of two key CKD measures - estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) - with incident AAA (AAA diagnosis in outpatient, hospitalization discharge, or death records). Additionally, we performed a cross-sectional analysis for the CKD measures and ultrasound-based abdominal aortic diameter in 4258 participants during 2011–2013.


      During a median follow-up of 13.9 years, 347 participants developed AAA. The demographically-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) was 4.44 (95% CI 1.58–12.49) for eGFR <30, 3.29 (1.89–5.72) for 30–44, 2.03 (1.29–3.19) for 45–59, and 1.62 (1.11–2.35) for 60–74 compared to eGFR ≥90 mL/min/1.73 m2 and was 2.49 (1.28–4.87) for ACR ≥300, 1.99 (1.40–2.83) for 30–299, and 1.46 (1.08–1.97) for 10–29 compared to ACR <10 mg/g. The associations were generally similar after accounting for additional confounders, such as smoking (although attenuated), or after stratifying by subgroups, including diabetes. The cross-sectional analysis also showed continuous positive associations of these CKD measures with aortic diameter, particularly at the distal aortic segment assessed.


      Reduced eGFR and elevated albuminuria were independently associated with greater incidence of AAA and greater abdominal aortic diameter. Our results suggest the potential usefulness of CKD measures to identify persons at high risk of AAA and the need to investigate pathophysiological pathways linking CKD to AAA.


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