Risk profile in chronic kidney disease stage 3: older versus younger patients.
BACKGROUND: The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) increases with age, but its significance in older patients is uncertain and is regarded by some as part of 'normal aging'. Moreover, subjects ≥75 years are often excluded from research studies. We therefore undertook a prospective study of patients with CKD stage 3 in primary care to compare the risk profile of older versus younger subjects. METHODS: Subjects with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) 59-30 ml/min/1.73 m(2) on two measurements were recruited from 32 primary care practices. Medical history and demographic data were obtained and participants underwent clinical assessment as well as urine and serum biochemistry tests. RESULTS: 1,741 participants were recruited: mean age 72.9 ± 9 years; 60% female; 98% white; 17% diabetic. Mean eGFR was 52.5 ± 10 ml/min/1.73 m(2) and 16.9% had albuminuria. Subjects ≥75 years had a significantly lower eGFR than younger subjects and a higher risk profile characterised by greater albuminuria, more arterial stiffness and higher serum uric acid levels. CONCLUSION: Older subjects with CKD stage 3 evidenced a higher risk profile for CKD progression and cardiovascular events than younger patients. This implies that CKD is not a benign condition in all elderly patients, but further investigation is required to identify those at greatest risk who may benefit from intervention.