Estimated GFR Variability and Risk of Cardiovascular Events and Mortality in SPRINT (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial)

Rakesh Malhotra, Ronit Katz, Vasantha Jotwani, Adhish Agarwal, Debbie L. Cohen, William C. Cushman, Areef Ishani, Anthony A. Killeen, Dalane W. Kitzman, Suzanne Oparil, Vasilios Papademetriou, Chirag R. Parikh, Kalani L. Raphael, Michael V. Rocco, Leonardo J. Tamariz, Paul K. Whelton, Jackson T. Wright, Michael G. Shlipak, Joachim H. Ix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Rationale and Objective: Although low estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and mortality, the clinical significance of variability in eGFR over time is uncertain. This study aimed to evaluate the associations between variability in eGFR and the risk of CVD events and all-cause mortality. Study Design: Longitudinal analysis of clinical trial participants. Settings and Participants: 7,520 Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) participants ≥50 year of age with 1 or more CVD risk factors. Predictors: eGFR variability, estimated by the coefficient of variation of eGFR assessments at the 6th, 12th, and 18-month study visits. Outcomes: The SPRINT primary CVD composite outcome (myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome, stroke, heart failure, or CVD death) and all-cause mortality from month 18 to the end of follow-up. Analytical Approach: Cox models were used to evaluate associations between eGFR variability and CVD outcomes and all-cause mortality. Models were adjusted for demographics, randomization arm, CVD risk factors, albuminuria, and eGFR at month 18. Results: Mean age was 68 ± 9 years; 65% were men; and 58% were White. The mean eGFR was 73 ± 21 (SD) mL/min/1.73 m2 at 6 months. There were 370 CVD events and 154 deaths during a median follow-up of 2.4 years. Greater eGFR variability was associated with higher risk for all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR] per 1 SD greater variability, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.14-1.45) but not CVD events (HR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.95-1.16) after adjusting for albuminuria, eGFR, and other CVD risk factors. Associations were similar when stratified by treatment arm and by baseline CKD status, when accounting for concurrent systolic blood pressure changes, use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers, and diuretic medications during follow up. Limitations: Persons with diabetes and proteinuria > 1 g/d were excluded. Conclusions: In trial participants at high risk for CVD, greater eGFR variability was independently associated with all-cause mortality but not CVD events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-56
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020


  • CVD
  • all-cause mortality
  • cardiovascular disease
  • cardiovascular event
  • eGFR
  • eGFR variability
  • estimated glomerular filtration rate
  • renal function


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