Prevalence and correlates of elevated serum creatinine levels: the Framingham Heart Study

Arch Intern Med. 1999 Aug 9-23;159(15):1785-90. doi: 10.1001/archinte.159.15.1785.


Background: Elevated serum creatinine (SCr) levels are a predictor of end-stage renal disease, but little is known about the prevalence of elevated SCr levels and their correlates in the community.

Methods: In this cross-sectional, community-based sample, SCr levels were measured in 6233 adults (mean age, 54 years; 54% women) who composed the "broad sample" of this investigation. A subset, consisting of 3241 individuals who were free of known renal disease, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes, constituted the healthy reference sample. In this latter sample, sex-specific 95th percentiles for SCr levels (men, 136 micromol/L [1.5 mg/dL]; women, 120 micromol/L [1.4 mg/dL]) were labeled cutpoints. These cutpoints were applied to the broad sample in a logistic regression model to identify prevalence and correlates of elevated SCr levels.

Results: The prevalence of elevated SCr levels was 8.9% in men and 8.0% in women. Logistic regression in men identified age, treatment for hypertension (odds ratio [OR], 1.75; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.27-2.42), and body mass index (OR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.01-1.15) as correlates of elevated SCr levels. Additionally, men with diabetes who were receiving antihypertensive medication were more likely to have raised SCr values (OR, 2.94; 95% CI, 1.60-5.39). In women, age, use of cardiac medications (OR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.10-2.96), and treatment for hypertension (OR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.07-1.87) were associated with elevated SCr levels.

Conclusions: Elevated SCr levels are common in the community and are strongly associated with older age, treatment for hypertension, and diabetes. Longitudinal studies are warranted to determine the clinical outcomes of individuals with elevated levels of SCr and to examine factors related to the progression of renal disease in the community.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Creatinine / blood*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Massachusetts / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors


  • Creatinine