The association between age and nephrosclerosis on renal biopsy among healthy adults

Andrew D. Rule, Hatem Amer, Lynn D. Cornell, Sandra J. Taler, Fernando G. Cosio, Walter K. Kremers, Stephen C. Textor, Mark D. Stegall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

262 Scopus citations


Background: Chronic kidney disease is common with older age and is characterized on renal biopsy by global glomerulosclerosis, tubular atrophy, interstitial fibrosis, and arteriosclerosis. Objective: To see whether the prevalence of these histologic abnormalities in the kidney increases with age in healthy adults and whether histologic findings are explained by age-related differences in kidney function or chronic kidney disease risk factors. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, from 1999 to 2009. Patients: 1203 adult living kidney donors. Measurements: Core-needle biopsy of the renal cortex obtained during surgical implantation of the kidney, and medical record data of kidney function and risk factors obtained before donation. Results: The prevalence of nephrosclerosis (≥2 chronic histologic abnormalities) was 2.7% (95% CI, 1.1% to 6.7%) for patients aged 18 to 29 years, 16% (CI, 12% to 20%) for patients aged 30 to 39 years, 28% (CI, 24% to 32%) for patients aged 40 to 49 years, 44% (CI, 38% to 50%) for patients aged 50 to 59 years, 58% (CI, 47% to 67%) for patients aged 60 to 69 years, and 73% (CI, 43% to 90%) for patients aged 70 to 77 years. Adjustment for kidney function and risk factor covariates did not explain the age-related increase in the prevalence of nephrosclerosis. Limitation: Kidney donors are selected for health and lack the spectrum or severity of renal pathologic findings in the general population. Conclusion: Kidney function and chronic kidney disease risk factors do not explain the strong association between age and nephrosclerosis in healthy adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-567
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of internal medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 4 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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