Waist-to-Hip Ratio Predictor of Sudden Cardiac Death in Hemodialysis Patients

New Orleans—In the general population, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is a predictor of cardiovascular disease and mortality. In a recent study, researchers examined the association of WHR and the risk of mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease; sudden cardiac death among end-stage renal disease patients receiving hemodialysis was of particular interest.

The study included 379 incident hemodialysis patients enrolled in the PACE (Predictors of Arrhythmic and Cardiovascular Risk in ESRD) study. Mean age at baseline was 54.9 years, 41% were female, 73% were African-American, 57% had diabetes. Mean comorbidity index was 5.2, mean body mass index was 20.3 kg/m2, mean WHR was 0.95, and 87% were above the World Health Organization WHR threshold for metabolic complications.

There were 35 cardiovascular deaths during a median follow-up of 2.5 years, 15 sudden cardiac deaths, and 48 deaths from non-cardiac causes. There was an association between increase in WHR and higher hazard of cardiovascular mortality and sudden cardiac death, but not with non-cardiovascular death. Following adjustment, there was a strong association between WHR and sudden cardiac death.

In conclusion, the researchers said, “WHR is associated with sudden cardiac death and cardiovascular death in incident hemodialysis patients. The easily measured WHR may be useful metric to risk stratify ESRD patients for cardiovascular mortality.”

Source: Fitzpatrick J, Sozio SM, Jaar BG, et al. Association of waist-to-hip ratio with sudden cardiac death and cardiovascular mortality in incident hemodialysis patients. Abstract of a poster presented at the American Society of Nephrology 2017 Kidney Week, November 3, 2017, New Orleans, Louisiana.