Journal of Nephrology

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 635–641 | Cite as

A longitudinal assessment of the natural rate of decline in renal function with age

  • Eytan CohenEmail author
  • Yuval Nardi
  • Irit Krause
  • Elad Goldberg
  • Gai Milo
  • Moshe Garty
  • Ilan Krause
Original Article



Cross-sectional studies have long suggested that renal function declines with age. Longitudinal studies regarding this issue are limited.


We retrospectively analyzed a database of subjects attending a screening center in Israel between the years 2000–2012. Only subjects with normal estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) were included. eGFR was assessed consequently at 5 or more yearly visits. The rate of decline in GFR with age was assessed in healthy subjects and in subjects with comorbidities.


The cohort included 2693 healthy subjects and 230 subjects with different comorbidities. Mean (±standard error) annual rate of decline in eGFR in healthy subjects was 0.97 ± 0.02 ml/min/year/1.73 m2. This decline increased significantly from 0.82 ± 0.22 in age-group 20–30 years to 0.84 ± 0.08, 1.07 ± 0.08 and 1.15 ± 0.12 ml/min/year/1.73 m2 in age groups 31–40, 41–50 and 50 years and older respectively (p < 0.001). No correlation was found between the annual decline in eGFR and body mass index. In subjects with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, impaired fasting glucose or combined comorbidity the decline in eGFR was 1.12 ± 0.12, 0.77 ± 0.16, 0.85 ± 0.17, and 1.18 ± 0.26 ml/min/year/1.73 m2 respectively.


This large longitudinal study provides new data on the decrease in eGFR with age. Accurate prediction of the natural rate of GFR decline might be used to distinguish between normally aging kidneys and those with chronic disease. This approach could avoid unnecessary diagnostic procedures in the former and facilitate appropriate treatment in the latter.


Estimated GFR Longitudinal study Renal function decline 


Conflict of interest

None of the authors had any conflict of interest in relation to the study. The study had no financial support.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Nephrology 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eytan Cohen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
    Email author
  • Yuval Nardi
    • 3
  • Irit Krause
    • 4
    • 7
  • Elad Goldberg
    • 1
    • 7
  • Gai Milo
    • 5
    • 7
  • Moshe Garty
    • 6
    • 7
  • Ilan Krause
    • 1
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Medicine F—RecanatiRabin Medical Center (Beilinson Campus)Petah TikvaIsrael
  2. 2.Clinical Pharmacology UnitRabin Medical Center (Beilinson Campus)Petah TikvaIsrael
  3. 3.Faculty of Industrial Engineering and ManagementTechnion—Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael
  4. 4.Nephrology Institute and Dialysis UnitSchneider’s Children Medical Center of Israel Petah TikvaPetah TikvaIsrael
  5. 5.Nephrology UnitRabin Medical Center (Beilinson Campus)Petah TikvaIsrael
  6. 6.Recanati Center for Preventive MedicineRabin Medical Center (Beilinson Campus)Petah TikvaIsrael
  7. 7.Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityRamat AvivIsrael

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