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Cystatin C effective in predicting chronic kidney disease complications: New study

A blood test based on Cystatin C levels can effectively identify individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD) who are at high risk for complications, according to a new study.

While doctors most often use a creatinine blood test to assess kidney function, cystatin C blood measurements have emerged as an alternative test of kidney function.

To evaluate the ability of cystatin C levels to identify CKD complications, the researchers conducted a study which included 11,909 participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) and the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS), two studies which were designed to investigate various aspects of cardiovascular disease.

The investigators defined CKD based on the creatinine test and the Cystatin C test and evaluated which of the tests would predict the risk of premature death, cardiovascular events, heart failure, and kidney failure- all of which are known complications of CKD.

The researchers found that individuals diagnosed with CKD based on cystatin C test had high risk of premature death cardiovascular disease, heart failure, and kidney failure, than the individuals with CKD based on creatinine test.

The authors concluded that cystatin C may have an important role in identifying the individuals suspected of having CKD who have the highest risk for CKD complications.

In addition, cystatin C test may also identify patients with high risk for CKD complications who are currently missed by creatinine.