Nonlinear causal effects of estimated glomerular filtration rate on myocardial infarction risks: Mendelian randomization study

Sehoon Park, Soojin Lee, Yaerim Kim, Semin Cho, Hyeok Huh, Kwangsoo Kim, Yong Chul Kim, Seung Seok Han, Hajeong Lee, Jung Pyo Lee, Kwon Wook Joo, Chun Soo Lim, Yon Su Kim, Dong Ki Kim

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Background: Previous observational studies suggested that a reduction in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) or a supranormal eGFR value was associated with adverse cardiovascular risks. However, a previous Mendelian randomization (MR) study under the linearity assumption reported null causal effects from eGFR on myocardial infarction (MI) risks. Further investigation of the nonlinear causal effect of kidney function assessed by eGFR on the risk of MI by nonlinear MR analysis is warranted. Methods: In this MR study, genetic instruments for log-eGFR based on serum creatinine were developed from European samples included in the CKDGen genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analysis (N=567,460). Alternate instruments for log-eGFR based on cystatin C were developed from a GWAS of European individuals that included the CKDGen and UK Biobank data (N=460,826). Nonlinear MR analysis for the risk of MI was performed using the fractional polynomial method and the piecewise linear method on data from individuals of white British ancestry in the UK Biobank (N=321,024, with 12,205 MI cases). Results: Nonlinear MR analysis demonstrated a U-shaped (quadratic P value < 0.001) association between MI risk and genetically predicted eGFR (creatinine) values, as MI risk increased as eGFR declined in the low eGFR range and the risk increased as eGFR increased in the high eGFR range. The results were similar even after adjustment for clinical covariates, such as blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, or urine microalbumin levels, or when genetically predicted eGFR (cystatin C) was included as the exposure. Conclusion: Genetically predicted eGFR is significantly associated with the risk of MI with a parabolic shape, suggesting that kidney function impairment, either by reduced or supranormal eGFR, may be causally linked to a higher MI risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number44
JournalBMC Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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  • Kidney
  • Mendelian randomization
  • Myocardial infarction


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