Hoogeveen EK, Halbesma N, Rothman KJ, Stijnen T, van Dijk S, Dekker FW, Boeschoten EW, de Mutsert R. Obesity and mortality risk among younger dialysis patients. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2012 Feb 1;7(2):280-8.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Many studies show that obesity in dialysis patients is not strongly associated with mortality but not whether this modest association is constant over age. This study investigated the extent to which the relation of body mass index (BMI) and mortality differs between younger and older dialysis patients.

MEASUREMENTS: Adult dialysis patients were prospectively followed from their first dialysis treatment for 7 years or until death or transplantation. Patients were stratified by age (<65 or ≥65 years) and baseline BMI (<20, 20-24 [reference], 25-29, and ≥30 kg/m(2)).

RESULTS: The study sample included 984 patients younger than 65 years and 765 patients 65 years or older; cumulative survival proportions at end of follow-up were 50% and 16%. Age-standardized mortality rate was 1.7 times higher in obese younger patients than those with normal BMI, corresponding to an excess rate of 5.2 deaths/100 patient-years. Mortality rates were almost equal between obese older patients and those with normal BMI. Excess rates of younger and older patients with low compared with normal BMI were 8.7 and 1.1 deaths/100 patient-years. After adjustment for age, sex, smoking, comorbidity, and treatment modality, hazard ratios by increasing BMI were 2.00, 1, 0.95, and 1.57 for younger patients and 1.07, 1, 0.88, and 0.91 for older patients, implying that obesity is a 1.7-fold (95% confidence interval, 1.1- to 2.9-fold) stronger risk factor in younger than older patients.

CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to older dialysis patients, younger patients with low or very high BMI had a substantially elevated risk for death

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