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Higher Plant Protein Intake Tied to Lower Risk for Chronic Kidney Disease

Finding persists whether kidney disease is based on diagnostic code or laboratory measurements

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 10, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Greater dietary plant protein intake is associated with a lower risk for incident chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a study published online July 28 in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

Ga Young Heo, M.D., from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, and colleagues examined the association between plant protein intake and incident CKD. The analysis included 117,809 participants in the U.K. Biobank.

The researchers found that during a median follow-up of 9.9 years, incident CKD occurred in 3.2 percent of participants (incidence rate, 3.2 per 1,000 person-years). The second, third, and highest quartiles of plant protein intake were associated with a lower risk for CKD (adjusted hazard ratios, 0.90, 0.83, and 0.82, respectively) compared with the lowest quartile. When examined as a continuous variable, for every increase of 0.1 g/kg/day plant protein intake, risk for CKD was lowered by 4 percent. This beneficial association persisted when CKD was defined based on diagnostic codes or two consecutive measures of estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 or on urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio >30 mg/g.

“Interventional studies demonstrating kidney protective benefits of plant protein intake are warranted,” the authors write.

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