Serial Fibroblast Growth Factor 23 Measurements and Risk of Requirement for Kidney Replacement Therapy: The CRIC (Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort) Study

CRIC Study Investigators

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Rationale & Objective: Studies using a single measurement of fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23) suggest that elevated FGF-23 levels are associated with increased risk for requirement for kidney replacement therapy (KRT) in patients with chronic kidney disease. However, the data do not account for changes in FGF-23 levels as kidney disease progresses. Study Design: Case-cohort study. Setting & Participants: To evaluate the association between serial FGF-23 levels and risk for requiring KRT, our primary analysis included 1,597 individuals in the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study who had up to 5 annual measurements of carboxy-terminal FGF-23. There were 1,135 randomly selected individuals, of whom 266 initiated KRT, and 462 individuals who initiated KRT outside the random subcohort. Exposure: Serial FGF-23 measurements and FGF-23 trajectory group membership. Outcomes: Incident KRT. Analytical Approach: To handle time-dependent confounding, our primary analysis of time-updated FGF-23 levels used time-varying inverse probability weighting in a discrete time failure model. To compare our results with prior data, we used baseline and time-updated FGF-23 values in weighted Cox regression models. To examine the association of FGF-23 trajectory subgroups with risk for incident KRT, we used weighted Cox models with FGF-23 trajectory groups derived from group-based trajectory modeling as the exposure. Results: In our primary analysis, the HR for the KRT outcome per 1 SD increase in the mean of natural log–transformed (ln)FGF-23 in the past was 1.94 (95% CI, 1.51-2.49). In weighted Cox models using baseline and time-updated values, elevated FGF-23 level was associated with increased risk for incident KRT (HRs per 1 SD ln[FGF-23] of 1.18 [95% CI, 1.02-1.37] for baseline and 1.66 [95% CI, 1.49-1.86] for time-updated). Membership in the slowly and rapidly increasing FGF-23 trajectory groups was associated with ∼3- and ∼21-fold higher risk for incident KRT compared to membership in the stable FGF-23 trajectory group. Limitations: Residual confounding and lack of intact FGF-23 values. Conclusions: Increasing FGF-23 levels are independently associated with increased risk for incident KRT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)908-918
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • CKD progression
  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • biomarker
  • dialysis
  • disease trajectory
  • end-stage renal disease (ESRD)
  • fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23)
  • kidney failure
  • kidney function decline
  • renal replacement therapy (RRT)
  • transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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