Cognitive and kidney function: results from a British birth cohort reaching retirement age

Silverwood, R. J., Richards, M., Pierce, M., Hardy, R., Sattar, N. , Ferro, C., Savage, C., Kuh, D. and Nitsch, D. (2014) Cognitive and kidney function: results from a British birth cohort reaching retirement age. PLoS ONE, 9(1), e86743. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086743) (PMID:24482683) (PMCID:PMC3901795)

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Abstract

Background: Previous studies have found associations between cognitive function and chronic kidney disease. We aimed to explore possible explanations for this association in the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development, a prospective birth cohort representative of the general British population.

Methods: Cognitive function at age 60–64 years was quantified using five measures (verbal memory, letter search speed and accuracy, simple and choice reaction times) and glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at the same age was estimated using cystatin C. The cross-sectional association between cognitive function and eGFR was adjusted for background confounding factors (socioeconomic position, educational attainment), prior cognition, and potential explanations for any remaining association (smoking, diabetes, hypertension, inflammation, obesity).

Results: Data on all the analysis variables were available for 1306–1320 study members (depending on cognitive measure). Verbal memory and simple and choice reaction times were strongly associated with eGFR. For example, the lowest quartile of verbal memory corresponded to a 4.1 (95% confidence interval 2.0, 6.2) ml/min/1.73 m2 lower eGFR relative to the highest quartile. Some of this association was explained by confounding due to socioeconomic factors, but very little of it by prior cognition. Smoking, diabetes, hypertension, inflammation and obesity explained some but not all of the remaining association.

Conclusions: These analyses support the notion of a shared pathophysiology of impaired cognitive and kidney function at older age, which precedes clinical disease. The implications of these findings for clinical care and research are important and under-recognised, though further confirmatory studies are required.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sattar, Professor Naveed
Authors: Silverwood, R. J., Richards, M., Pierce, M., Hardy, R., Sattar, N., Ferro, C., Savage, C., Kuh, D., and Nitsch, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1932-6203
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS One 9(1):e86743
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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