Kidney Function and Fracture Risk: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study

Am J Kidney Dis. 2016 Feb;67(2):218-226. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2015.06.020. Epub 2015 Aug 4.


Background: People with end-stage renal disease are at high risk for bone fracture. Less is known about fracture risk in milder chronic kidney disease and whether chronic kidney disease-associated fracture risk varies by sex or assessment with alternative kidney markers.

Study design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting & participants: 10,955 participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study followed up from 1996 to 2011.

Predictor: Kidney function as assessed by creatinine-based estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFRcr), urine albumin-creatinine ratio, and alternative filtration markers.

Outcomes: Fracture-related hospitalizations determined by diagnostic code.

Measurements: Baseline kidney markers; hospitalizations identified by self-report during annual telephone contact and active surveillance of local hospital discharge lists.

Results: Mean age of participants was 63 years, 56% were women, and 22% were black. During a median follow-up of 13 years, there were 722 incident fracture-related hospitalizations. Older age, female sex, and white race were associated with higher risk for fracture (P<0.001). The relationship between eGFRcr and fracture risk was nonlinear: <60mL/min/1.73m(2), lower eGFRcr was associated with higher fracture risk (adjusted HR per 10mL/min/1.73m(2) lower, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.05-1.47); there was no statistically significant association for ≥60mL/min/1.73m(2) in the primary analysis. In contrast, there was a graded association between other markers of kidney function and subsequent fracture, including albumin-creatinine ratio (HR per doubling, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.06-1.14), cystatin C-based eGFR (HR per 1-SD decrease, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.06-1.25), and 1/β2-microglobulin (HR per 1-SD decrease, 1.26, 95% CI, 1.15-1.37).

Limitations: No bone mineral density assessment; one-time measurement of kidney function.

Conclusions: Both low eGFR and higher albuminuria were significant risk factors for fracture in this community-based population. The shape of the association in the upper ranges of eGFR varied by the filtration marker used in estimation.

Keywords: Bone fracture; albumin-creatinine ratio (ACR); albuminuria; chronic kidney disease (CKD); estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR); fracture risk; hospitalization; hospitalized fracture; kidney filtration markers; renal function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Albuminuria / diagnosis
  • Albuminuria / epidemiology
  • Atherosclerosis / diagnosis
  • Atherosclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnosis
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Kidney Function Tests / trends
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Risk Factors