Higher fibroblast growth factor-23 increases the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in the community

Kidney Int. 2013 Jan;83(1):160-6. doi: 10.1038/ki.2012.327. Epub 2012 Sep 5.


Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23), a regulator of mineral metabolism, has been linked to cardiovascular disease in chronic kidney disease. As community-based data of the longitudinal association between FGF23 and cardiovascular events are lacking, we investigated a possible relationship in 727 men of the Uppsala Longitudinal Study of Adult Men population-based cohort (mean age 77 years). During a median follow-up of 9.7 years, 110 participants died of cardiovascular causes. In Cox regression models adjusted for age and established cardiovascular risk factors, higher serum FGF23 was associated with a significantly increased risk for cardiovascular mortality (hazard ratio (HR) per increased s.d. of 1.36). This relationship remained significant, albeit attenuated, after adjustment for glomerular filtration rate (GFR) (HR 1.21). FGF23 was also associated with all-cause mortality, although the association was weaker than that with cardiovascular mortality, and it was nonsignificant in fully adjusted multivariate models. Spline analysis suggested a log-linear relationship between FGF23 and outcome. Participants with a combination of high FGF23 (>60 pg/ml), low GFR (<60 ml/min), and micro-/macro-albuminuria (albumin/creatinine ratio above 3 mg/ml) had an almost eightfold increased risk compared with participants without these abnormalities. Thus, a higher FGF23 level is associated with an increased cardiovascular mortality risk in the community. Clinical trials are needed to determine whether FGF23 is a modifiable risk factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / blood*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • Biomarkers
  • FGF23 protein, human
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor-23