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Despite extensive knowledge about abnormal lipid patterns in patients with end-stage renal disease, the association between cholesterol and the development of renal dysfunction is unclear. We evaluated this association in a prospective cohort study among 4,483 initially healthy men participating in the Physicians' Health Study who provided blood samples in 1982 and 1996. Main outcome measures were elevated creatinine, defined as >/= 1.5 mg/dl (133 micromol/L), and reduced estimated creatinine clearance, defined as </=55 ml/min. Cholesterol parameters included total cholesterol (<200, 200 to 239, and >/= 240 mg/dl), HDL (<40 or >/= 40 mg/dl), total non-HDL cholesterol, and the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL. We used logistic regression to calculate age- and multivariable adjusted odds ratios as a measure for the relative risk. After 14 yr, 134 men (3.0%) had elevated creatinine and 244 (5.4%) had reduced creatinine clearance. The multivariable relative risk for elevated creatinine was 1.77 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10 to 2.86) for total cholesterol >/= 240 mg/dl, 2.16 (95% CI, 1.42 to 3.27) for HDL <40 mg/dl, 2.34 (95% CI, 1.34 to 4.07) for the highest quartile of total cholesterol/HDL ratio (>/= >6.8), and 2.16 (95% CI, 1.22 to 3.80) for the highest quartile of non-HDL cholesterol (>/= 196.1). Similar although smaller associations were observed between cholesterol parameters and reduced creatinine clearance. Elevated total cholesterol, high non-HDL cholesterol, a high ratio of total cholesterol/HDL, and low HDL in particular were significantly associated with an increased risk of developing renal dysfunction in men with an initial creatinine <1.5 mg/dl.


Journal article


J Am Soc Nephrol

Publication Date





2084 - 2091


Cholesterol, Cholesterol, HDL, Cohort Studies, Creatinine, Edetic Acid, Glomerular Filtration Rate, Humans, Kidney Diseases, Kidney Failure, Chronic, Lipid Metabolism, Logistic Models, Male, Multivariate Analysis, Odds Ratio, Prospective Studies, Risk, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome