Background: Proenkephalin (pro-ENK) was recently found to be associated with low estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). The association of pro-ENK with urinary albumin excretion (UAE), another marker for chronic kidney disease (CKD), has not been investigated. We examined the association of pro-ENK with eGFR and UAE as markers of CKD.
Methods: We included 4375 subjects of the Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-Stage Disease (PREVEND) study. CKDeGFR was defined as development of eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 and CKDUAE as albuminuria >30 mg/24 h.
Results: Baseline median pro-ENK was 52.2 (IQR: 44.9-60.5) pmol/L. After a median follow-up of 8.4 (IQR: 7.9-8.9) years, 183 subjects developed CKDeGFR and 371 developed CKDUAE. The association of pro-ENK with CKDeGFR was modified by sex (Pinteraction < 0.1), in such a way that after adjustment, the association only remained significant in men (adjusted hazard ratio per SD increase in 10log-transformed pro-ENK, 1.65; 95% CI: 1.15-2.36) and not in women (0.83; 0.58-1.20). No significant association was observed between pro-ENK and CKDUAE risk (0.83; 0.58-1.20).
Conclusions: High pro-ENK is associated with increased risk of CKDeGFR in men, but not in women. No association of pro-ENK with CKDUAE was observed. These results should be interpreted with caution, since residual confounding and potential overfitting of models could have influenced the results.
Keywords: Biomarker; chronic kidney disease; epidemiology.