Low Protein Nitrogen Appearance as a Surrogate of Low Dietary Protein Intake Is Associated with Higher All-Cause Mortality in Maintenance Hemodialysis Patients1-3

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To determine the association between all-cause mortality and dietary protein intake in patients with chronic kidney disease, we performed a large-scale, 8-y prospective cohort study in 98,489 maintenance hemodialysis patients from a multicenter dialysis care provider. Compared with the reference level (60 to <70 g/d), low protein nitrogen appearance (PNA) levels [<30 g/d, HR: 1.40 (95% CI: 1.30, 1.50); 30 to <40 g/d, HR: 1.33 (95% CI: 1.28, 1.39)] was associated with higher all-cause mortality, and high PNA levels [≥110 g/d, HR: 0.92 (95% CI: 0.88, 0.97); 100 to <110 g/d, HR: 0.87 (95% CI: 0.82, 0.91)] were associated with lower all-cause mortality in all analyses. This association was also found in subanalyses performed among racial and hypoalbuminemic groups. Hence, using PNA as a surrogate for protein intake, a low daily dietary protein intake is associated with increased risk of death in all hemodialysis patients. Whether the association between dietary protein intake and survival is causal or a consequence of anorexia secondary to protein-energy-wasting/inflammation or other factors should be explored in interventional trials. J. Nutr. 143: 1084-1092, 2013.

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