Background: End-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients display a higher incidence of poor nutritional status and are at high risk of hospitalization and death. Patients on renal replacement therapy (RRT) with a primary diagnosis of diabetes mellitus have the lowest survival rates along with highest hospitalization incidence.
Methods: In this study, we examined the importance of diabetes mellitus along with certain demographic and clinical variables in predicting the change in lean body mass (LBM) by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), as a surrogate marker of somatic protein stores, in 142 incident ESRD patients (91 males, 52.8 +/- 1.0 years, 74.2 +/- 1.2 kg body weight) among which 34 had diabetes mellitus (19 insulin-dependent and 15 noninsulin dependent).
Results: Our results show that patients with diabetes mellitus had significantly accelerated loss of LBM compared to nondiabetic patients during the first year of RRT (3.4 +/- 0.6 kg vs. 1.1 +/- 0.2 kg) (P < 0.05). Multivariate linear regression analyses revealed that the presence of diabetes mellitus was the strongest predictor of LBM loss independently of several clinically-relevant variables such as age, gender, serum albumin, presence of malnutrition, presence of inflammation, and RRT modality.
Conclusion: We conclude that the presence of diabetes mellitus is the most significant independent predictor of LBM loss in renal replacement therapy patients, providing a potential explanation as to why ESRD patients with diabetes mellitus are more prone to muscle wasting.