Aging promotes progression of IgA nephropathy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Am J Nephrol. 2013;38(3):241-52. doi: 10.1159/000354646. Epub 2013 Sep 10.


Background: There has been considerable interest in whether old age is associated with IgA nephropathy (IgAN) progression, which is still controversial.

Methods: We searched multiple databases for studies published from 1980 to 2012. The inclusion criteria were case-control, cohort studies published in any language. The included studies needed to have an older group. IgAN was proven by biopsy.

Results: We included 9 studies with a total of 6,543 patients. The meta-analyses of other risk factors between the older group (>50 years old) and the non-older group (15-50 years old) found significant differences in the presence of hypertension, proteinuria, serum cholesterol levels and baseline renal function. In the overall analysis, compared to the non-older group, older age significantly increased the incidence of developing end-stage renal disease [ESRD; relative risk (RR) random model 1.95; 95% CI: 1.27-3.01]. In the subgroup analyses, we found the age limit and traditional risk factors of IgAN may be the sources of heterogeneity between studies. Moreover, the RR (2.56) of the Asian countries was much higher than the RR (1.11) of the European countries.

Conclusions: This comprehensive review revealed that old age is a real risk factor for IgAN progression to ESRD. The incidence of ESRD in the older IgAN patients was 1.95 times higher than that in the non-older IgAN patients. Moreover, the risk of IgAN progression to ESRD of the older patients in Asia was higher than that of the older patients in Europe.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Biopsy / methods
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / diagnosis
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult