As renal function declines, the prevalence of both malnutrition and cardiovascular disease increase. Both malnutrition and vascular disease correlate with the levels of markers of inflammation both in patients treated with dialysis and in those not yet on dialysis. While it is possible that the markers of inflammation (increased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) or interleukin-6 (IL-6)) are a result of inflammation arising from the atherosclerotic process, changes in endothelial cell gene expression, in plasma protein composition and in lipoprotein structure that arise from inflammation are likely to be atherogenic. The causes of inflammation are likely to be multifactorial. CRP levels are associated with cardiovascular risk in the general population and decrease following treatment with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. It is speculated that use of these agents or directly suppressing inflammation may have use in treating the inflammatory-malnutrition syndrome in dialysis patients.
Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel