Kidney Function and Cardiovascular Events in Postmenopausal Women: The Impact of Race and Ethnicity in the Women's Health Initiative

Cristina M. Arce, Jinnie J. Rhee, Katharine L. Cheung, Haley Hedlin, Kristopher Kapphahn, Nora Franceschini, Roberto S. Kalil, Lisa W. Martin, Lihong Qi, Nawar M. Shara, Manisha Desai, Marcia L. Stefanick, Wolfgang C. Winkelmayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Kidney disease disproportionately affects minority populations, including African Americans and Hispanics; therefore, understanding the relationship of kidney function to cardiovascular (CV) outcomes within different racial/ethnic groups is of considerable interest. We investigated the relationship between kidney function and CV events and assessed effect modification by race/ethnicity in the Women's Health Initiative. Study Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting & Participants: Baseline serum creatinine concentrations (assay traceable to isotope-dilution mass spectrometry standard) of 19,411 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years who self-identified as either non-Hispanic white (n = 8,921), African American (n = 7,436), or Hispanic (n = 3,054) were used to calculate estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs). Predictors: Categories of eGFR (exposure); race/ethnicity (effect modifier). Outcomes: The primary outcome was the composite of 3 physician-adjudicated CV events: myocardial infarction, stroke, or CV-related death. Measurements: We evaluated the multivariable-adjusted associations between categories of eGFR and CV events using proportional hazards regression and formally tested for effect modification by race/ethnicity. Results: During a mean follow-up of 7.6 years, 1,424 CV events (653 myocardial infarctions, 627 strokes, and 297 CV-related deaths) were observed. The association between eGFR and CV events was curvilinear; however, the association of eGFR with CV outcomes differed by race (P = 0.006). In stratified analyses, we observed that the U-shaped association was present in non-Hispanic whites, whereas African American participants had a rather curvilinear relationship, with lower eGFR being associated with higher CV risk, and higher eGFR, with reduced CV risk. Analyses among Hispanic women were inconclusive owing to few Hispanic women having very low or high eGFRs and very few events occurring in these categories. Limitations: Lack of urinary albumin measurements; residual confounding by unmeasured or imprecisely measured characteristics. Conclusions: In postmenopausal women, the patterns of association between eGFR and CV risk differed between non-Hispanic whites and African American women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 20 2015


  • African American
  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • CV death
  • CV events
  • CV risk
  • Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)
  • Hispanic
  • Kidney disease
  • Myocardial infarction (MI)
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Renal function
  • Serum creatinine
  • Stroke
  • Women's Health Initiative (WHI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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