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POOR NUTRITIONAL STATUS IS ASSOCIATED WITH DEATH IN A POPULATION OF DIALYZED OLDER PERSONS

D. Azzolino, S. Vettoretti, M.M. Poggi, A. Soldati, L. Caldiroli, L.A. Dalla Vecchia, M. Cesari

BACKGROUND: Older patients in hemodialysis have high prevalence of malnutrition that is often associated with rapid weight loss till cachexia. OBJECTIVESs: We aimed to investigate whether in older patients undergoing hemodialysis the association between poor nutritional status and mortality may be independent of comorbidities and other risk factors. DESIGN: Retrospective longitudinal study. SETTING: Unit of Nephrology, Dialysis and Kidney Transplantation of the Policlinic Hospital of Milan, Milan, Italy. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 107 prevalent patients undergoing hemodialysis for at least three months. MEASUREMENTS: Sociodemographic, clinical, and biological data were recorded. Unintentional weight loss (UWL) was defined as loss of body weight > 5% in 3 months or > 10% in 6 months. We computed a 21-item Frailty Index that included clinical conditions associated with malnutrition and mortality in this population. Unadjusted and adjusted Cox proportional hazard models were performed to test the association of UWL, albumin and transferrin levels with death. Survival analyses based on Kaplan-Meier estimates were performed. RESULTS: Patients’ age was 79 (±7.7) years; 38 (35%) were women. Thirty-one patients (29%) died during follow-up. Eighteen (16.8%) patients experienced UWL during the follow-up period. UWL was positively associated with death in the unadjusted model and even after the progressive inclusion of potential confounders. Low albumin levels were positively associated with death only in the unadjusted and partially adjusted models while low transferrin levels were not associated with death in none of the models. Mortality was significantly higher in those patients experiencing both UWL and albumin levels below 3.5 mg/dL. CONCLUSIONS: In older patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis UWL is associated with mortality independently of comorbidities and other risk factors. Patients presenting both UWL and low albumin levels were those experiencing the worst outcomes in terms of mortality.

CITATION:
D. Azzolino ; S. Vettoretti ; M.M. Poggi ; A. Soldati ; L. Caldiroli ; L.A. Dalla Vecchia ; M. Cesari (2024): Poor Nutritional Status Is Associated with Death in a Population of Dialyzed Older Persons. The Journal of Frailty and Aging (JFA). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jfa.2024.2

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