Introduction Soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) strongly predicts outcomes and incident chronic kidney disease (CKD) in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Whether the association between suPAR and CKD is a reflection of its overall association with chronic inflammation and poor CVD outcomes is unclear. We examined whether CVD biomarkers, including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), fibrin-degradation products (FDPs), heat-shock protein 70 (HSP-70), and high-sensitivity troponin I (hs-TnI) were associated with a decline in kidney function in the Emory Cardiovascular Biobank cohort, in which suPAR levels were shown to be predictive of both incident CKD and CVD outcomes. Methods We measured suPAR, hs-CRP, HSP-70, FDP, and hs-TnI plasma levels in 3282 adults (mean age 63 years, 64% male, 75% estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] >60 ml/min per 1.73 m2). Glomerular filtration rate was estimated using Chronic Kidney Disease–Epidemiology Collaboration (eGFR) at enrollment (n = 3282) and follow-up (n = 2672; median 3.5 years). Urine protein by dipstick at baseline was available for 1335 subjects. Results There was a weak correlation among biomarkers (r range: 0.17−0.28). hs-CRP, FDPs, hs-TnI, and suPAR were independently associated with baseline eGFR and proteinuria. The median yearly decline in eGFR was −0.6 ml/min per 1.73 m2. hs-CRP (β: −0.04; P = 0.46), FDPs (β: −0.13; P = 0.08), HSP-70 (β: 0.05; P = 0.84), or hs-TnI (β: −0.01; P = 0.76) were associated with eGFR decline. suPAR remained predictive of eGFR decline even after adjusting for all biomarkers. Discussion hs-CRP, FDP, HSP-70, and hs-TnI were not associated with eGFR decline. The specific association of suPAR with eGFR decline supported its involvement in pathways specific to the pathogenesis of kidney disease.
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