Prevalence and associations of Coronary Artery Calcification in Patients with Stages 3-5 Chronic Kidney Disease without Cardiovascular Disease

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Garland, Jocelyn
Chronic kidney disease , coronary artery calcification
Background: Coronary artery calcification (CAC) is common in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, and is demonstrable in fifty percent of incident dialysis patients. Therefore, the process of CAC initiation likely occurs in the pre-dialysis period. Pre-dialysis CKD patients have been shown to have a substantially higher burden of CAC than age and sex matched controls from the general population. Consequently, the hypothesis that CKD itself is a risk factor for CAC occurrence is biologically plausible. Objective: 1) To quantify the relationship between CKD and CAC in stage three to five CKD patients without known cardiovascular disease. 2) To estimate the strengths of associations between traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors, non- traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors and CAC in this patient population. Methods: This cross-sectional study investigated one hundred and nineteen CKD patients (excluding dialysis) receiving care at a single hospital in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. For the primary objective, correlational analyses were performed to evaluate associations between a priori selected variables of kidney function and CAC scores, as well as other a priori chosen variables of interest. Results: Mean and median CAC scores were 566.5 SD: 1108 and 111 (inter-quartile range 2 to 631.5) respectively. CAC correlated with age (r = 0.44, p<0.001), body mass index (r = 0.28, p = 0.002), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (r = -0.23, p = 0.01), diabetes mellitus (r = 0.23, p = 0.01), and the cardiovascular risk score (r = 0.35; p < 0.001). By multivariable linear regression controlling for eGFR and diabetes, age (ß = 0.05, 95% CI 0.03-0.06; p<0.001), body mass index (ß = 0.04, 0.02 - 0.07; p=0.001), and serum calcium (ß = 0.9, 0.15 - 1.6; p=0.02), were risk factors for CAC. Results from multivariable logistic regression modeling demonstrated consistent findings. Limitations: Inadequate sample size and uncontrolled confounding are possible limitations, but are unlikely to have changed the main study findings. Conclusions: In this study, traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors and serum calcium were associated with coronary artery calcification. No association was demonstrated between CKD and CAC. Studies exploring potential protective mechanisms against coronary artery calcification are needed.
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