Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23), an osteocyte hormone involved in the regulation of phosphate metabolism, is associated with incident and progressive chronic kidney disease. We aimed to assess the association of FGF-23 with renal parameters, vascular function and phosphate metabolism in a large cohort of young and healthy individuals.
Healthy individuals aged 25–41 years were included in a prospective population-based study. Fasting venous blood and morning urinary samples were used to measure plasma creatinine, cystatin C, endothelin-1, phosphate and plasma FGF-23 as well as urinary creatinine and phosphate. Multivariable regression models were constructed to assess the relationship of FGF-23 with parameters of renal function, endothelin-1 and fractional phosphate excretion.
The median age of 2077 participants was 37 years, 46% were males. The mean estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR – CKD-EPI creatinine-cystatin C equation) and fractional phosphate excretion were 110 mL/min/1.73 m2 and 8.7%, respectively. After multivariable adjustment, there was a significant inverse relationship of FGF-23 with eGFR (β per 1 log-unit increase −3.81; 95% CI [−5.42; −2.20]; p<0.0001). Furthermore, we found a linear association between FGF-23 and endothelin-1 (β per 1 log-unit increase 0.06; [0.01, 0.11]; p=0.01). In addition, we established a significant relationship of FGF-23 with fractional phosphate excretion (β per 1 log-unit increase 0.62; [0.08, 1.16]; p=0.03).
Increasing plasma FGF-23 levels are strongly associated with decreasing eGFR and increasing urinary phosphate excretion, suggesting an important role of FGF-23 in the regulation of kidney function in young and healthy adults.