TUESDAY, Aug. 23, 2022 (HealthDay News) — With aging, kidney function is lower in women than men, but the rate of change in glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is higher in men than women, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Toralf Melsom, M.D., Ph.D., from the University Hospital of North Norway in Tromsø, and colleagues examined sex differences in the loss of kidney function in healthy adults. A total of 1,837 participants (aged 50 to 62 years) without self-reported diabetes, chronic kidney disease (CKD), or cardiovascular disease were recruited. The GFR was measured by plasma iohexol clearance in 2007 to 2009, 2013 to 2015, and 2018 to 2020.

The researchers found that compared with men, women had a lower GFR at baseline (mean, 90.0 versus 98.0 mL/min/1.73 m²). The mean GFR change rate was −0.96 and −1.20 mL/min/1.73 m² per year in women and men, respectively. The association between age and GFR was close to linear in women but was curvilinear in men, with steeper GFR slopes at older ages. A slower GFR decline was seen in healthy participants, but the sex difference in GFR decline was not accounted for by health status.

“The study may in part explain why more women are diagnosed with early CKD and more men develop severe CKD and kidney failure during aging,” a coauthor said in a statement. “The role of age-related loss of kidney function on healthy aging and life expectancy in women and men should be addressed in further studies.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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