Rationale & Objective: Chronic kidney disease, defined by albuminuria and/or reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), has been reported to be associated with brain atrophy and/or higher white matter lesion volume (WMLV), but there are few large-scale population-based studies assessing this issue. This study aimed to examine the associations between the urinary albumin-creatinine ratio (UACR) and eGFR levels and brain atrophy and WMLV in a large-scale community-dwelling older population of Japanese. Study Design: Population-based cross-sectional study. Setting & Participants: A total of 8,630 dementia-free community-dwelling Japanese aged greater than or equal to 65 years underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging scanning and screening examination of health status in 2016-2018. Exposures: UACR and eGFR levels. Outcomes: The total brain volume (TBV)-to-intracranial volume (ICV) ratio (TBV/ICV), the regional brain volume-to-TBV ratio, and the WMLV-to-ICV ratio (WMLV/ICV). Analytical Approach: The associations of UACR and eGFR levels with the TBV/ICV, the regional brain volume-to-TBV ratio, and the WMLV/ICV were assessed by using an analysis of covariance. Results: Higher UACR levels were significantly associated with lower TBV/ICV and higher geometric mean values of the WMLV/ICV (P for trend = 0.009 and <0.001, respectively). Lower eGFR levels were significantly associated with lower TBV/ICV, but not clearly associated with WMLV/ICV. In addition, higher UACR levels, but not lower eGFR, were significantly associated with lower temporal cortex volume-to-TBV ratio and lower hippocampal volume-to-TBV ratio. Limitations: Cross-sectional study, misclassification of UACR or eGFR levels, generalizability to other ethnicities and younger populations, and residual confounding factors. Conclusions: The present study demonstrated that higher UACR was associated with brain atrophy, especially in the temporal cortex and hippocampus, and with increased WMLV. These findings suggest that chronic kidney disease is involved in the progression of morphologic brain changes associated with cognitive impairment.
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