Metabolic syndrome and obesity are risk factors for chronic kidney disease. However, early kidney alterations may escape diagnosis in these conditions due to glomerular hyperfiltration. Uromodulin, a glycoprotein exclusively synthesized in tubular cells of the thick ascending limb of Henle's loop, is a novel tissue-specific biomarker for kidney function. In contrast to the commonly used markers creatinine and cystatin C, serum uromodulin does not primarily depend on glomerular filtration. We hypothesized that serum uromodulin is a marker for metabolic syndrome and related components.
The analyses included 1088 participants of the population-based KORA F4 study aged 62–81 years. Metabolic syndrome was present in 554 participants. After a mean follow-up time of 6.5 years, 621 participants were reevaluated, of which 92 had developed incident metabolic syndrome.
The association of serum uromodulin with metabolic syndrome and its components were assessed using multivariable logistic regression models.
Serum uromodulin was inversely associated with metabolic syndrome after adjustment for sex, age, estimated glomerular filtration rate, physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (OR 0.65; 95% CI 0.56–0.76 per standard deviation uromodulin; P < 0.001). Serum uromodulin was inversely associated with all single components of metabolic syndrome. However, serum uromodulin was not associated with new-onset metabolic syndrome after the follow-up period of 6.5 ± 0.3 years (OR 1.18; 95% CI 0.86–1.60).
Serum uromodulin is independently associated with prevalent, but not with incident metabolic syndrome. Low serum uromodulin may indicate a decreased renal reserve in the metabolic syndrome.