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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2003 Oct;14(10):2623-31.

Risk factors for incident stroke among patients with end-stage renal disease.

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Division of Nephrology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98102, USA.


Although patients with ESRD experience markedly higher rates of stroke, no studies in the US have identified risk factors associated with stroke in this population. It was hypothesized that black race, malnutrition, and elevated BP would be associated with the risk of stroke among patients with ESRD. Data from the United States Renal Data Systems were used. Adult Medicare-insured hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis patients without a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) were considered for analysis. The primary outcome was hospitalized or fatal stroke. Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine the associations between the primary predictor variables and stroke. The rate of incident stroke was 33/1,000 person-years in the study sample. After adjustment for age and other patient characteristics, three markers of malnutrition were associated with the risk of stroke-serum albumin (per 1 g/dl decrease, hazard ratio [HR] = 1.43), height-adjusted body weight (per 25% decrease, HR = 1.09), and a subjective assessment of undernourishment (HR = 1.27)-as was higher mean BP (per 10 mmHg, HR = 1.11). The association between black race varied by cardiac disease status, with blacks estimated to be at lower risk than whites among individuals with cardiac disease (HR = 0.74), but at higher risk among individuals without cardiac disease (HR = 1.24). This study confirms the extraordinarily high rates of stroke in ESRD patients on dialysis and identifies high mean BP and malnutrition as potentially modifiable risk factors. The association between black race and stroke differs by cardiac disease status; the reasons for this differing effect of race deserve further investigation.

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