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1.  Transthyretin Predicts Cardiovascular Outcome in Hemodialysis Patients With Type 2 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2012;35(11):2365-2372.
BMI and albumin are commonly accepted parameters to recognize wasting in dialysis patients and are powerful predictors of morbidity and mortality. However, both parameters reveal limitations and may not cover the entire range of patients with wasting. The visceral protein transthyretin (TTR) may be helpful in overcoming the diagnostic and prognostic gap. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the association of TTR with morbidity and mortality in hemodialysis patients.
The TTR concentration was determined in plasma samples of 1,177 hemodialysis patients with type 2 diabetes. Cox regression analyses were used to determine hazard ratios (HRs) for the risk of cardiovascular end points (CVEs) and mortality according to quartiles of TTR concentration for the total study cohort and the subgroups BMI ≥23 kg/m2, albumin concentration ≥3.8 g/dL, and a combination of both.
A low TTR concentration was associated with an increased risk for CVE for the total study cohort (HR 1.65 [95% CI 1.27–2.14]), patients with BMI ≥23 kg/m2 (1.70 [1.22–2.37]), albumin ≥3.8 g/dL (1.68 [1.17–2.42]), and the combination of both (1.69 [1.13–2.53]). Additionally, a low TTR concentration predicted mortality for the total study cohort (1.79 [1.43–2.24]) and patients with BMI ≥23 kg/m2 (1.46 [1.09–1.95]).
The current study demonstrated that TTR is a useful predictor for cardiovascular outcome and mortality in diabetic hemodialysis patients. TTR was particularly useful in patients who were not identified to be at risk by BMI or albumin status.
PMCID: PMC3476886  PMID: 22923667
2.  Vitamin D deficiency is associated with sudden cardiac death, combined cardiovascular events, and mortality in haemodialysis patients 
European Heart Journal  2010;31(18):2253-2261.
Dialysis patients experience an excess mortality, predominantly of sudden cardiac death (SCD). Accumulating evidence suggests a role of vitamin D for myocardial and overall health. This study investigated the impact of vitamin D status on cardiovascular outcomes and fatal infections in haemodialysis patients.
Methods and results
25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] was measured in 1108 diabetic haemodialysis patients who participated in the German Diabetes and Dialysis Study and were followed up for a median of 4 years. By Cox regression analyses, we determined hazard ratios (HR) for pre-specified, adjudicated endpoints according to baseline 25(OH)D levels: SCD (n = 146), myocardial infarction (MI, n = 174), stroke (n = 89), cardiovascular events (CVE, n = 414), death due to heart failure (n = 37), fatal infection (n = 111), and all-cause mortality (n = 545). Patients had a mean age of 66 ± 8 years (54% male) and median 25(OH)D of 39 nmol/L (interquartile range: 28–55). Patients with severe vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D of≤ 25 nmol/L] had a 3-fold higher risk of SCD compared with those with sufficient 25(OH)D levels >75 nmol/L [HR: 2.99, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.39–6.40]. Furthermore, CVE and all-cause mortality were strongly increased (HR: 1.78, 95% CI: 1.18–2.69, and HR: 1.74, 95% CI: 1.22–2.47, respectively), all persisting in multivariate models. There were borderline non-significant associations with stroke and fatal infection while MI and deaths due to heart failure were not meaningfully affected.
Severe vitamin D deficiency was strongly associated with SCD, CVE, and mortality, and there were borderline associations with stroke and fatal infection. Whether vitamin D supplementation decreases adverse outcomes requires further evaluation.
PMCID: PMC2938469  PMID: 20688781
Vitamin D; Sudden cardiac death; Mortality; Dialysis; Kidney; Cardiovascular

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