Serum cystatin C level is associated with carotid intima-media thickening and plaque

Yu Zhu, Hui Ping Zhang, Yan Chun Wang, Tian Tian Ren, Jie Li, Ming Liang Xu, Xiang Qian Wang, Fang Chao Liu, Abby Lau, Yu Feng Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background and aim. Chronic kidney disease has recently been shown to be a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and carotid intima-media thickness has been widely used as a biomarker for early detection of cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to confirm whether carotid thickening and carotid plaque are associated with preclinical chronic kidney disease in individuals without clinical cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease. Material and methods. We conducted a cross-sectional study on participants from Maanshan City, China. All participants underwent carotid ultrasonography. Kidney function was measured using cystatin C, serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen and blood uric acid. Demographics and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases were obtained from each participant. Results. A total of 927 subjects were surveyed; 453 (48.87%) were men and 474 (51.13%) were women. A total of 525 (56.63%) of the participants were found to have carotid thickening of which 281 (53.52%) were men and 244 (46.48%) were women. Kidney function was strongly associated with carotid thickening and plaque in the unadjusted analysis. However, cystatin C was the only measure of kidney function that was significantly associated with carotid thickening and plaque in the adjusted analysis (in order to select risk factors from sex, age, BMI, hypertension, diabetes, smoking, total cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein, apolipoprotein A, apolipoprotein B, cystatin C, creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, blood uric, estimated GFR). Conclusion. Cystatin C, an alternative measure of kidney function, was more strongly associated with carotid thickening and plaque than other measures of kidney function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-272
Number of pages8
JournalScandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Carotid intima-media thickness
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Cystatin C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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