Association of nutritional markers with physical and mental health status in prevalent hemodialysis patients from the HEMO study

J Ren Nutr. 2002 Jul;12(3):160-9. doi: 10.1053/jren.2002.33512.


Objective: To determine associations of potentially modifiable nutritional factors with physical and mental health status after adjusting for sociodemographic and comorbid conditions.

Design: Cross-sectional multivariable analysis.

Setting: Fifteen dialysis centers across the United States participating in the Reduction of Morbidity and Mortality Among Hemodialysis Patients (HEMO) study.

Patients: Enrollment of 1,545 prevalent hemodialysis subjects in the HEMO study. INDEPENDENT (PREDICTOR) VARIABLES: The following nutritional markers were assessed in this analysis: serum albumin, energy intake, protein catabolic rate, serum creatinine, midarm muscle circumference, calf circumference, and smoking status. Smoking status, although not a nutritional factor per se, was also included because it is a modifiable lifestyle factor.

Main outcome measures: Physical and mental health status were assessed using the medical staff-assessed Karnofsky Index and the patient self-assessed Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36).

Results: After adjusting for sociodemographic factors and comorbid conditions, serum albumin, serum creatinine, and calf circumference were independently associated with Karnofsky Index scores. Similarly, serum creatinine and calf circumference were also independently associated with the Physical Component Summary (PCS) score of the SF-36. Of the nutritional variables selected, no variables were significantly associated with the Mental Component Summary (MCS) score of the SF-36.

Conclusions: Markers of poor nutrition were associated with decreased physical functioning scores, independent of case mix. Measures that improve nutrition may therefore have wide-reaching effects to improve not only morbidity and mortality but also health-related quality of life for patients with end-stage renal disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anthropometry
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Karnofsky Performance Status
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / psychology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status / physiology
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Quality of Life
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Serum Albumin / analysis
  • Smoking


  • Biomarkers
  • Proteins
  • Serum Albumin
  • Creatinine