Low glomerular filtration rate and risk of stroke: Meta-analysis

Meng Lee, Jeffrey L. Saver, Kuo Hsuan Chang, Hung Wei Liao, Shen Chih Chang, Bruce Ovbiagele*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

358 Scopus citations


Objective: To qualitatively and quantitatively investigate the link between a low estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) at baseline and risk of future stroke. Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Data sources: PubMed (1966-October 2009) and Embase (1947-October 2009). Selection criteria: Inclusion criteria were studies that prospectively collected data within cohort studies or clinical trials, estimated glomerular filtration rate at baseline using the modification of diet in renal disease or Cockcroft-Gault equations, assessed incident stroke, had a follow-up of at least one year, and reported quantitative estimates of multivariate adjusted relative risk and 95% confidence interval for stroke associated with an eGFR of 60-90 ml/min/1.73 m2 or <60 ml/min/1.73 m2. Data abstraction: Two investigators independently abstracted data from eligible studies. Estimates were combined using a random effects model. Heterogeneity was assessed by P value of χ2 statistics and I2. Publication bias was assessed by visual examination of funnel plots. Results: 21 articles derived from 33 prospective studies: 14 articles assessed eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 and seven assessed eGRF at both <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 and 60-90 ml/min/1.73 m2 for a total of 284 672 participants (follow-up 3.2-15 years) with 7863 stroke events. Incident stroke risk increased among participants with an eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 (relative risk 1.43, 95% confidence interval 1.31 to 1.57; P<0.001) but not among those with an eGFR of 60-90 ml/min/1.73 m2 (1.07, 0.98 to 1.17; P=0.15). Significant heterogeneity existed between estimates among patients with an eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 (P<0.001). In subgroup analyses among participants with an eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2, heterogeneity was significant in Asians compared with non-Asians (1.96, 1.73 to 2.23 v 1.25, 1.16 to 1.35; P<0.001), and those with an eGFR of 40-60 ml/min/1.73 m2v <40 ml/min/1.73 m2 (1.28, 1.04 to 1.56 v 1.77, 1.32 to 2.38; P<0.01). Conclusions: A baseline eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 was independently related to incident stroke across a variety of participants and study designs. Prompt and appropriate implementation of established strategies for reduction of vascular risk in people with know renal insufficiency may prevent future strokes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberc4249
Pages (from-to)767
Number of pages1
JournalBMJ (Online)
Issue number7776
StatePublished - 09 10 2010


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