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Muscle Mass Predicts Health, Survival in Dialysis Patients

This surrogate of lean body mass more relevant than simple BMI measurement

FRIDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients on maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) tend to fare better when they're heavier rather than lighter; new research indicates that these patients benefit from increased muscle mass. The findings were published online Oct. 14 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Nazanin Noori, M.D., Ph.D., of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif., and colleagues examined the associations of triceps skinfold (TSF), mid-arm muscle circumference (MAMC), and serum creatinine with mental health scores and five-year survival in 792 patients on MHD. The purpose of the study was to test the hypothesis that MAMC, a surrogate marker of lean body mass, is more strongly associated with clinical outcomes than TSF, a surrogate marker of fat mass.

They found LBM most strongly correlated with serum creatinine and MAMC, which itself was associated with better mental health scores and lower hazard ratios for mortality. Those with the highest MAMC had a risk of death 37 percent lower than those with the lowest MAMC during the study period. TSF measurements were not similarly predictive of patient health and mortality.

"Higher MAMC is a surrogate of larger LBM and an independent predictor of better mental health and greater survival in MHD patients. Sarcopenia-correcting interventions to improve clinical outcomes in this patient population warrant controlled trials," the authors write.

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