Background: The aim was to identify determinants (biomedical and social characteristics of children and their parents) of cystatin C levels in healthy children drawn from a population sample.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting& Participants: 425 pairs of consecutive full siblings born 1987-1995 in Uppsala were identified using the Swedish Medical Birth Registry and invited with their parents for examination in 2000-2001.
Outcome: Serum cystatin C level was log-transformed and analyzed using random-effects models.
Measurements: The examination in parents and children consisted of a nonfasting blood sample, anthropometry, and questionnaires about lifestyle and socioeconomic position. Tanner stage was used for assessment of pubertal status.
Results: In age-, height-, and body mass index-adjusted analyses, cystatin C level increased by 2.6% (95% CI, 0.3%-4.8%) higher in Tanner stage 2 vs 1 girls, and 1.6% (95%CI, 0.2%-3.1%) lower in boys than girls. For every 10% increase in maternal cystatin C level, offspring cystatin C level increased by 3.0% (95% CI, 2.2%-3.8%); the equivalent effect for paternal cystatin C level was 2.1% (95% CI, 1.3%-2.9%). Lower maternal education was associated with a 2.4% (95% CI, 0.3%-4.6%) higher cystatin C level in their offspring.Limitations: Cross-sectional study design, missing cystatin C values for subset of parents, lack of urinary measurements, no gold-standard measurement of glomerular filtration rate.
Conclusions: There are intergenerational associations of cystatin C level in families in line with previous reports of heritability of kidney disease. Lower maternal education is associated with higher cystatin C levels in their children. Further studies of healthy children are needed to explore the biological mechanisms for these findings. If cystatin C is measured, these studies will need to record pubertal stages.
2011. Vol. 57, no 6, 863-872 p.