• aging;
  • epidemiology;
  • kidney;
  • risk factors

Abstract.  Emberson JR, Haynes R, Dasgupta T, Mafham M, Landray MJ, Baigent C, Clarke R (University of Oxford, Oxford, UK). Cystatin C and risk of vascular and nonvascular mortality: a prospective cohort study of older men. J Intern Med 2010; 268: 145–154.

Objective.  To assess the relevance of cystatin C, as a marker of mild-to-moderate renal impairment, for vascular and nonvascular mortality in older people.

Design.  Prospective cohort study.

Setting.  Re-survey in 1997 to 1998 of survivors in the 1970 Whitehall study of London civil servants.

Subjects.  Five thousand three hundred and seventy-one men (mean age at resurvey: 77 years) who took part in the resurvey and had plasma cystatin C concentration measured.

Main outcome measures.  Cause-specific mortality over subsequent 11 years (1997 to 2008).

Methods.  Cox regression was used to estimate the associations of cystatin C with vascular and nonvascular mortality, before and after adjustment for prior disease and other risk factors (including lifetime blood pressure).

Results.  During an 11.0-year follow-up period, there were 1171 deaths from vascular causes [26 per 1000 per year (py)] and 1615 deaths from nonvascular causes (36 per 1000 py). Compared with men with cystatin C in the bottom fifth of the distribution, men in the top 10th had about two-fold higher mortality rates from vascular and nonvascular mortality (fully adjusted P both <0.001) even after adjustment for prior disease and all measured confounders, including lifetime blood pressure. The fully adjusted relative risks per 50% higher cystatin C concentrations were 1.66 [95% CI 1.48 to 1.85] for vascular mortality, 1.92 [95% CI 1.66 to 2.22] for ischaemic heart disease mortality and 1.46 [95% CI 1.31 to 1.61] for nonvascular mortality.

Conclusions.  In older men, plasma concentration of cystatin C, probably as a marker of mild renal disease, is a strong independent predictor of both vascular and nonvascular mortality.