Background: Information of the effect of cardiovascular risk factors on renal glomerular and vascular changes is scarce in the general population.
Method: Between 1962 and 1994, 1394 autopsies were performed in Hisayama, for a total autopsy rate of 80%. Of these, 839 individuals who preserved adequate renal tissues and had recent health examinations data before death were eligible for the present study. We examined the degree of glomerular sclerosis, renal arteriolar hyalinosis, and arteriosclerosis, and evaluated their risk factors by means of a logistic regression model.
Results: The development of glomerular sclerosis, arteriolar hyalinosis, and arteriosclerosis were 16%, 16%, and 18% in men, respectively, and 27%, 15%, and 24% in women, respectively. All these frequencies increased linearly with advancing age. In the multivariate analysis, both age and systolic blood pressure were significant independent risk factors for almost all these glomerular and vascular changes. In addition, glucose intolerance and proteinuria for men were found to be significant risk factors for glomerular sclerosis. Elevated total cholesterol levels significantly increased the risk of arteriolar hyalinosis in men. Electrocardiogram (ECG) abnormalities were an independent risk factor for arteriosclerosis in both men and women, and proteinuria was an additional risk factor in women. Alcohol intake tended to have a protective effect on glomerular sclerosis and arteriosclerosis in women.
Conclusion: Our data confirmed that age and systolic blood pressure are common risk factors for all glomerular and renal vascular changes in the general population. In addition, glucose intolerance, total cholesterol, ECG abnormalities, and proteinuria affect either glomerular or vascular changes.