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      Reverse epidemiology of cardiovascular risk factors in maintenance dialysis patients

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      Kidney International

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          Conventional risk factors of cardiovascular disease and mortality in the general population such as body mass, serum cholesterol, and blood pressure are also found to relate to outcome in maintenance dialysis patients, but often in an opposite direction. Obesity, hypercholesterolemia, and hypertension appear to be protective features that are associated with a greater survival among dialysis patients. A similar protective role has been described for high serum creatinine and possibly homocysteine levels in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients. These findings are in contrast to the well-known association between over-nutrition and poor outcome in the general population. The association between under-nutrition and adverse cardiovascular outcome in dialysis patients, which stands in contrast to that seen in non-ESRD individuals, has been referred to as "reverse epidemiology." Publication bias may have handicapped or delayed additional reports with such paradoxical findings in ESRD patients. The etiology of this inverse association between conventional risk factors and clinical outcome in dialysis patients is not clear. Several possible causes are hypothesized. First, survival bias may play a role since only a small number of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) survive long enough to reach ESRD. Hence, the dialysis patients are probably a distinctively selected population out of CKD patients and may not represent the risk factor constellations of their CKD predecessors. Second, the time discrepancy between competitive risk factors may play a role. For example, the survival disadvantages of under-nutrition, which is frequently present in dialysis patients, may have a major impact on mortality in a shorter period of time, and this overwhelms the long-term negative effects of over-nutrition on survival. Third, the presence of the "malnutrition-inflammation complex syndrome" (MICS) in dialysis patients may also explain the existence of reverse epidemiology in dialysis patients. Both protein-energy malnutrition and inflammation or the combination of the two are much more common in dialysis patients than in the general population and many elements of MICS, such as low weight-for-height, hypocholesterolemia, or hypocreatininemia, are known risk factors of poor outcome in dialysis patients. The existence of reverse epidemiology may have a bearing on the management of dialysis patients. It is possible that new standards or goals for such traditional risk factors as body mass, serum cholesterol, and blood pressure should be considered for these individuals.

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          Clinical epidemiology of cardiovascular disease in chronic renal disease.

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            Strong association between malnutrition, inflammation, and atherosclerosis in chronic renal failure.

            Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and malnutrition are widely recognized as leading causes of the increased morbidity and mortality observed in uremic patients. C-reactive protein (CRP), an acute-phase protein, is a predictor of cardiovascular mortality in nonrenal patient populations. In chronic renal failure (CRF), the prevalence of an acute-phase response has been associated with an increased mortality. One hundred and nine predialysis patients (age 52 +/- 1 years) with terminal CRF (glomerular filtration rate 7 +/- 1 ml/min) were studied. By using noninvasive B-mode ultrasonography, the cross-sectional carotid intima-media area was calculated, and the presence or absence of carotid plaques was determined. Nutritional status was assessed by subjective global assessment (SGA), dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), serum albumin, serum creatinine, serum urea, and 24-hour urine urea excretion. The presence of an inflammatory reaction was assessed by CRP, fibrinogen (N = 46), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha; N = 87). Lipid parameters, including Lp(a) and apo(a)-isoforms, as well as markers of oxidative stress (autoantibodies against oxidized low-density lipoprotein and vitamin E), were also determined. Compared with healthy controls, CRF patients had an increased mean carotid intima-media area (18.3 +/- 0.6 vs. 13.2 +/- 0.7 mm2, P or = 10 mg/liter). Malnourished patients had higher CRP levels (23 +/- 3 vs. 13 +/- 2 mg/liter, P < 0.01), elevated calculated intima-media area (20.2 +/- 0.8 vs. 16.9 +/- 0.7 mm2, P < 0.01) and a higher prevalence of carotid plaques (90 vs. 60%, P < 0.0001) compared with well-nourished patients. During stepwise multivariate analysis adjusting for age and gender, vitamin E (P < 0.05) and CRP (P < 0.05) remained associated with an increased intima-media area. The presence of carotid plaques was significantly associated with age (P < 0.001), log oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL; P < 0.01), and small apo(a) isoform size (P < 0.05) in a multivariate logistic regression model. These results indicate that the rapidly developing atherosclerosis in advanced CRF appears to be caused by a synergism of different mechanisms, such as malnutrition, inflammation, oxidative stress, and genetic components. Apart from classic risk factors, low vitamin E levels and elevated CRP levels are associated with an increased intima-media area, whereas small molecular weight apo(a) isoforms and increased levels of oxLDL are associated with the presence of carotid plaques.
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              A malnutrition-inflammation score is correlated with morbidity and mortality in maintenance hemodialysis patients.

              Malnutrition inflammation complex syndrome (MICS) occurs commonly in maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients and may correlate with increased morbidity and mortality. An optimal, comprehensive, quantitative system that assesses MICS could be a useful measure of clinical status and may be a predictor of outcome in MHD patients. We therefore attempted to develop and validate such an instrument, comparing it with conventional measures of nutrition and inflammation, as well as prospective hospitalization and mortality. Using components of the conventional Subjective Global Assessment (SGA), a semiquantitative scale with three severity levels, the Dialysis Malnutrition Score (DMS), a fully quantitative scoring system consisting of 7 SGA components, with total score ranging between 7 (normal) and 35 (severely malnourished), was recently developed. To improve the DMS, we added three new elements to the 7 DMS components: body mass index, serum albumin level, and total iron-binding capacity to represent serum transferrin level. This new comprehensive Malnutrition-Inflammation Score (MIS) has 10 components, each with four levels of severity, from 0 (normal) to 3 (very severe). The sum of all 10 MIS components ranges from 0 to 30, denoting increasing degree of severity. These scores were compared with anthropometric measurements, near-infrared-measured body fat percentage, laboratory measures that included serum C-reactive protein (CRP), and 12-month prospective hospitalization and mortality rates. Eighty-three outpatients (44 men, 39 women; age, 59 +/- 15 years) on MHD therapy for at least 3 months (43 +/- 33 months) were evaluated at the beginning of this study and followed up for 1 year. The SGA, DMS, and MIS were assessed simultaneously on all patients by a trained physician. Case-mix-adjusted correlation coefficients for the MIS were significant for hospitalization days (r = 0.45; P < 0.001) and frequency of hospitalization (r = 0.46; P < 0.001). Compared with the SGA and DMS, most pertinent correlation coefficients were stronger with the MIS. The MIS, but not the SGA or DMS, correlated significantly with creatinine level, hematocrit, and CRP level. During the 12-month follow-up, 9 patients died and 6 patients left the cohort. The Cox proportional hazard-calculated relative risk for death for each 10-unit increase in the MIS was 10.43 (95% confidence interval, 2.28 to 47.64; P = 0.002). The MIS was superior to its components or different subversions for predicting mortality. The MIS appears to be a comprehensive scoring system with significant associations with prospective hospitalization and mortality, as well as measures of nutrition, inflammation, and anemia in MHD patients. The MIS may be superior to the conventional SGA and the DMS, as well as to individual laboratory values, as a predictor of dialysis outcome and an indicator of MICS.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Kidney International
                Kidney International
                Wiley
                00852538
                March 2003
                March 2003
                : 63
                : 3
                : 793-808
                Article
                10.1046/j.1523-1755.2003.00803.x
                12631061
                © 2003

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