PloS one

Kidney function, endothelial activation and atherosclerosis in black and white Africans with rheumatoid arthritis.

PMID 25806966


To determine whether kidney function independently relates to endothelial activation and ultrasound determined carotid atherosclerosis in black and white Africans with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We calculated the Jelliffe, 5 Cockcroft-Gault equations, Salazar-Corcoran, Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) and Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) estimated glomerular filtration rate (EGFR) equations in 233 (112 black) RA patients. The CKD-EPI eGFR was <90 ml/min/1.73m2 in 49.1% and 30.6% of black and white patients, respectively (odds ratio (95% confidence interval) = 2.19 (1.28-3.75), p = 0.004). EGFRs were overall consistently associated with monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and angiopoietin 2 concentrations in white patients, and with carotid intima-media thickness and plaque in black participants. Amongst black patients, plaque prevalence was 36.7% and the area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was not associated with plaque presence for the MDRD equation (p = 0.3), whereas the respective relationship was significant or borderline significant (p = 0.003 to 0.08) and of similar extent (p>0.1 for comparisons of AUC (SE)) for the other 8 equations. Based on optimal eGFR cutoff values with sensitivities and specificities ranging from 42 to 60% and 70 to 91% respectively, as determined in ROC curve analysis, a low eGFR increased the odds ratio for plaque 2.2 to 4.0 fold. Reduced kidney function is independently associated with atherosclerosis and endothelial activation in black and white Africans with RA, respectively. CKD is highly prevalent in black Africans with RA. Apart from the MDRD, eGFR equations are useful in predicting carotid plaque presence, a coronary heart disease equivalent, amongst black African RA patients.