Truncal fat mass is significantly and independently associated with chronic inflammation in hemodialysis (HD) patients, researchers reported.

Eiji Ishimura, MD, of Osaka City University in Japan, and collaborators measured fat and lean masses of 452 HD patients and examined their association with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), a marker of systemic inflammation. Researchers divided patients into two groups: those with normal hsCRP (less than 0.3 mg/dL) and those with high hsCRP (0.3 mg/dL or higher).

Patients with high hsCRP levels had significantly higher total fat mass than those with normal hsCRP levels (14.8 vs. 13.4 kg), according to findings published in Nephron: Clinical Practice (2011;119:c283-c288). Truncal fat mass was significantly higher in the high hsCRP group than the normal hsCRP group (7.69 vs. 6.67 kg) after adjusting for various factors, including diabetes and nontruncal fat mass. The researchers observed no significant difference between the groups with respect to nontruncal fat mass and truncal and nontruncal lean mass.

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Together with previous studies, the new findings indicate that the visceral or truncal fat mass is an important contributor to increased chronic inflammation, the authors noted.