Higher plasma transforming growth factor (TGF)-β is associated with kidney disease in older community dwelling adults

Tapan Mehta, Petra Buzkova, Jorge R. Kizer, Luc Djousse, Michel Chonchol, Kenneth J. Mukamal, Michael Shlipak, Joachim H. Ix, Diana Jalal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number98
JournalBMC Nephrology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 21 2017


  • CKD
  • GFR
  • Older adults
  • TGF-β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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