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Am J Kidney Dis. 2009 Nov;54(5):902-11. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.06.029. Epub 2009 Sep 25.

Association of LDL cholesterol and inflammation with cardiovascular events and mortality in hemodialysis patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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  • 1Department of Medicine I, Division of Nephrology, University of Würzburg, Germany.



In the general population, C-reactive protein (CRP) in addition to low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level is useful in predicting cardiovascular events. In hemodialysis patients, the additive value is unknown. The association between LDL cholesterol level and outcome previously was suggested to be inverse and confounded by inflammation.


Prospective cohort study.


1,255 hemodialysis patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus randomly assigned to atorvastatin versus placebo in the German Diabetes Dialysis Study.


Baseline LDL cholesterol level.


Combined vascular end point (cardiac death, myocardial infarction, and stroke), mortality, myocardial infarction, sudden death, and stroke.


During 4 years, 465 combined vascular events, 612 deaths, 160 sudden deaths, 200 myocardial infarctions, and 99 strokes occurred. Median LDL cholesterol level was 123 mg/dL. LDL cholesterol level (millimoles per liter and quartiles) was not predictive of outcome. This was analyzed further in patients with and without inflammation. In patients with inflammation (CRP level > 5 mg/L), the adjusted relative risk of combined vascular events was 29% greater compared with those without inflammation and a low LDL cholesterol level (LDL cholesterol < or = 123 mg/dL). This was irrespective of whether LDL cholesterol level was low or high (hazard ratio [HR] for LDL < 123 mg/dL [HR (for LDL< or =123 mg/dL)], 1.29, with 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.98 to 1.70; HR(LDL>123 mg/dL), 1.29, with 95% CI, 0.99 to 1.69). Similar results were found for all-cause death (HR(LDL< or =123 mg/dL), 1.47 [95% CI, 1.16 to 1.86]; HR(LDL>123 mg/dL), 1.48 [95% CI, 1.16 to 1.88]), sudden death (HR(LDL< or =123 mg/dL), 1.98 [95% CI, 1.23 to 3.20]; HR(LDL>123 mg/dL), 1.66 [95% CI, 1.01 to 2.75]), and myocardial infarction (HR(LDL< or =123 mg/dL), 1.74 [95% CI, 1.14 to 2.66]; HR(LDL>123 mg/dL), 1.54 [95% CI, 0.99 to 2.38]). In patients without inflammation, the respective risks did not differ significantly between patients with varying LDL cholesterol levels. However, there was a trend toward an increased risk of myocardial infarction (HR(LDL>123 mg/dL), 1.45 [95% CI, 0.95 to 2.21]) in patients with high compared with low LDL cholesterol levels. P values for the interaction between CRP and LDL cholesterol levels were 0.9 (composite vascular end point), 0.5 (mortality), 0.9 (sudden death), 0.09 (stroke), and 0.2 (myocardial infarction).


Selected patient cohort, post hoc analysis.


Because CRP level more than LDL cholesterol level determined outcome, the value of regular LDL cholesterol measurements in long-term hemodialysis patients with type 2 diabetes needs reassessment.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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