Findings from a study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood
Institute indicate that serum cystatin C is a stronger predictor of the risk
of death and cardiovascular events in the elderly than creatinine, the current
standard measure of kidney function (Stevens and Levey. N Engl J Med. 2005;352:2122-2124).
For almost a decade, the researchers measured creatinine and cystatin
C in blood samples from 4637 elderly patients and compared them as predictors
of death from all causes, death from cardiovascular causes, and incidence
of myocardial infarction and stroke. Cystatin C could distinguish individuals
at low, medium, and high risk with respect to death from all causes and from
cardiovascular causes; high levels were also associated with the risk for
newly diagnosed myocardial infarction or stroke. Only participants in the
highest 7% of the cohort with respect to creatinine levels had a significantly
increased risk of death from all causes, and there was no association with
the risk of death from cardiovascular causes, myocardial infarction, or stroke.
Hampton T. New Kidney Function Test. JAMA. 2005;293(24):2992. doi:10.1001/jama.293.24.2992-d