Pulse pressure (PP) reflects increased large artery stiffness, which is caused, in part, by arterial calcification in patients with chronic kidney disease. PP has been shown to predict both cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events in various patient populations, including kidney transplant (KTX) recipients. Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is a marker and regulator of arterial calcification, and it is related to cardiovascular survival in hemodialysis patients. Here we tested the hypothesis that OPG is associated with increased pulse pressure. We cross-sectionally analyzed the association between serum OPG and PP in a prevalent cohort of 969 KTX patients (mean age: 51 +/- 13 years, 57% male, 21% diabetics, mean eGFR 51 +/- 20 ml/min/1.73 m2). Independent associations were tested in a linear regression model adjusted for multiple covariables. PP was positively correlated with serum OPG (rho = 0.284, p < 0.001). Additionally, a positive correlation was seen between PP versus age (r = 0.358, p < 0.001), the Charlson Comorbidity Index (r = 0.232, p < 0.001), serum glucose (r = 0.172, p < 0.001), BMI (r = 0.133, p = 0.001) and serum cholesterol (r = 0.094, p = 0.003). PP was negatively correlated with serum Ca, albumin and eGFR. The association between PP and OPG remained significant after adjusting for multiple potentially relevant covariables (beta = 0.143, p < 0.001). We conclude that serum OPG is independently associated with pulse pressure in kidney transplant recipients.
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