Fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF23) is an established biomarker of adverse outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Several cross-sectional studies have suggested a possible association between FGF23 and anemia in these patients. In this large-scale prospective cohort study, we investigated this relationship and examined whether high FGF23 levels increase the risk of incident anemia. This prospective longitudinal study included 2,089 patients from the KoreaN cohort study for Outcome in patients With CKD. Anemia was defined as hemoglobin level <13.0 g/dl (men) and <12.0 g/dl (women). Log-transformed FGF23 significantly correlated with hepcidin but inversely correlated with iron profiles and hemoglobin. Multivariate logistic regression showed that log-transformed FGF23 was independently associated with anemia (odds ratio [OR], 1.14; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04-1.24, P = 0.01). Among 1,164 patients without anemia at baseline, 295 (25.3%) developed anemia during a median follow-up of 21 months. In fully adjusted multivariable Cox models, the risk of anemia development was significantly higher in the third (hazard ratio [HR], 1.66; 95% CI, 1.11-2.47; P = 0.01) and fourth (HR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.23-2.76; P = 0.001) than in the first FGF23 quartile. In conclusion, high serum FGF23 levels were associated with an increased risk for anemia in patients with nondialysis CKD.
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