RBC Distribution Width, Dialysis Patient Mortality Linked

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As red blood cell distribution width increases, so does the risk of death from any cause.
As red blood cell distribution width increases, so does the risk of death from any cause.

New findings confirm the potential association between red blood cell distribution width (RDW) and all-cause mortality in hemodialysis (HD) patients, according to researchers.

The findings are from a study of 8817 HD patients who started dialysis in Europe from 2000 to 2012. Investigators computed patients' mean pre-HD RDW values within their first year on HD and stratified patients to tertile: RDW less than 14.7%; RDW of 14.7% to 15.9%; and RDW greater than 15.9%. The cohort was part of the Monitoring Dialysis Outcomes (MONDO) initiative. Patients had a mean age of 63 years, and 59% of them were male. A total of 1422 patients died in the second year on dialysis.

Among patients in the higher and the highest tertiles, RDW was associated with a 1.5-fold and 2.1-fold increase in all-cause mortality compared with patients in the lower tertile, Xiaoling Ye, MPH, of the MONDO Initiative, and colleagues reported at the 54th Congress of the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association congress in Madrid.

The researchers adjusted for age, gender, interdialytic weight gain, and other potential confounders in the analysis.

A marker for differentiating anemias, RDW is known to be elevated in most cases of iron, vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies, the investigators noted.

Reference

Ye X, Canaud B, Stuard S, et al. Red blood cell distribution width associates with all-cause mortality. Poster presented at the 54th Congress of the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association in Madrid, June 3-6.

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