Iron status, fibroblast growth factor 23 and cardiovascular and kidney outcomes in chronic kidney disease

CRIC Study Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Disordered iron and mineral homeostasis are interrelated complications of chronic kidney disease that may influence cardiovascular and kidney outcomes. In a prospective analysis of 3747 participants in the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study, we investigated risks of mortality, heart failure, end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease according to iron status, and tested for mediation by C-terminal fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), hemoglobin and parathyroid hormone. Study participants were agnostically categorized based on quartiles of transferrin saturation and ferritin as “Iron Replete” (27.1% of participants; referent group for all outcomes analyses), “Iron Deficiency” (11.1%), “Functional Iron Deficiency” (7.6%), “Mixed Iron Deficiency” (iron indices between the Iron Deficiency and Functional Iron Deficiency groups; 6.3%), “High Iron” (9.2%), or “Non-Classified” (the remaining 38.8% of participants). In multivariable-adjusted Cox models, Iron Deficiency independently associated with mortality (hazard ratio 1.28, 95% confidence interval 1.04–1.58) and heart failure (1.34, 1.05– 1.72). Mixed Iron Deficiency associated with mortality (1.61, 1.27–2.04) and ESKD (1.33, 1.02–1.73). High Iron associated with mortality (1.54, 1.24–1.91), heart failure (1.58, 1.21–2.05), and ESKD (1.41, 1.13–1.77). Functional Iron Deficiency did not significantly associate with any outcome, and no iron group significantly associated with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Among the candidate mediators, FGF23 most significantly mediated the risks of mortality and heart failure conferred by Iron Deficiency. Thus, alterations in iron homeostasis associated with adverse cardiovascular and kidney outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1292-1302
Number of pages11
JournalKidney international
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • chronic kidney disease
  • fibroblast growth factor 23
  • functional iron deficiency
  • iron deficiency
  • iron excess
  • mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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