Individuals with familial, spousal history of CKD at increas
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A population-based study conducted in the Netherlands showed that individuals who had a first-degree relative or spouse with a history of chronic kidney disease were at greater risk for developing the condition.

“Established risk factors for CKD, such as hypertension and diabetes, explain 50% to 70% of cases, and are the main targets of current risk prediction models for CKD,” researchers wrote in the study published in American Journal of Kidney Diseases. “Familial clustering of CKD and kidney-related markers suggests that genetic factors or shared environmental factors are also important in the pathogenesis of this disease.”

Despite research showing there may be a genetic component to CKD, the researchers argued that “knowledge gaps exist,” because many of these studies focused on later stages of kidney disease.

“Focusing on early-stage CKD rather than ESKD may have added value for risk stratification,” they wrote.

For the study, researchers used data from the Lifelines Cohort Study (examining three generations), which included a sample of 155,911 individuals with eGFR information.

Adjustments were made for BMI, hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, history of cardiovascular disease and smoking status.

Results showed CKD risk was three times higher for individuals with a first-degree relative who had CKD. The risk was 1.56 times higher for those who had a spouse with CKD, “suggesting that shared environmental factors and/or assortative mating play a role.”

According to researchers, this study provides unique insight into CKD risk because it is “based on objective laboratory measurements of eGFR and [urinary albumin excretion] in three-generational data, and is therefore more sensitive to non-symptomatic early-stage CKD.”

“Further study is warranted to assess the added value of family history in CKD risk stratification, and to investigate the potential impact of targeting families of [patients with CKD] in screening and prevention,” the researchers wrote.