DENVER—Higher body mass index (BMI) is associated with lower mortality among patients on maintenance hemodialysis (MHD), and this survival advantage differs by race and gender, new findings suggest.

A study of 122,869 MHD patients showed that each 1 kg/m2 increment in BMI is associated with an approximately 2.6% and 2.5% lower mortality rate in African-American women and men, respectively, and a 1.8% and 2.1% lower mortality rate in white men and women, respectively.

A team led by Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, MD, PhD, MPH, of the Harold Simmons Center for Chronic Disease Research and Epidemiology, LABioMed at Harbor-UCLA, Torrance, Calif., studied a five-year cohort (July 2001-June 2006) that included 53,098 whites and 39,090 African Americans. The researchers followed patients for survival until June 2007.

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“These findings suggest that higher BMI provides an even stronger survival advantage to African American dialysis patients, who are known to have greater longevity than whites,” said Dr. Kalantar-Zadeh, Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.