Fibroblast growth factor-23 is a bone-derived hormone that increases urinary phosphate excretion and inhibits hydroxylation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Recent studies suggest that fibroblast growth factor-23 may be an early biomarker of CKD progression. However, its role in kidney function decline in the general population is unknown. We assessed the relationship between baseline (1990-1992) serum levels of intact fibroblast growth factor-23 and incident ESRD in 13,448 Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study participants (56.1% women, 74.7% white) followed until December 31, 2010. At baseline, the mean age of participants was 56.9 years and the mean eGFR was 97ml/min per 1.73m2. During amedian follow-up of 19 years, 267 participants (2.0%) developed ESRD. After adjustment for demographic characteristics, baseline eGFR, traditional CKD risk factors, and markers of mineral metabolism, the highest fibroblast growth factor-23 quintile (>54.6 pg/ml) compared with the lowest quintile (<32.0 pg/ml) was associated with risk of developing ESRD (hazard ratio, 2.10; 95% confidence interval, 1.31 to 3.36; trend P<0.001). In a large, community-based study comprising a broad range of kidney function, higher baseline fibroblast growth factor-23 levels were associated with increased risk of incident ESRD independent of the baseline level of kidney function and a number of other risk factors.