The association of sudden cardiac death with inflammation and other traditional risk factors

Kidney Int. 2008 Nov;74(10):1335-42. doi: 10.1038/ki.2008.449. Epub 2008 Sep 3.


Despite the frequency of cardiovascular death in dialysis patients, few studies have prospectively measured sudden cardiac death in these individuals. Here, we sought to determine the frequency of sudden cardiac death and its association with inflammation and other risk factors among the CHOICE (Choices for Healthy Outcomes In Caring for ESRD) cohort of 1,041 incident dialysis patients. Sudden cardiac death was defined as that occurring outside of the hospital with an underlying cardiac cause from death certificate data. Over a median 2.5 years of follow-up, 22% of all mortality in this cohort was due to sudden cardiac death. Using Cox proportional hazards, we found that the highest tertiles of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and of IL-6 were each associated with twice the risk of sudden cardiac death compared to their lowest tertiles when adjusted for demographics, comorbidities and laboratory factors. A decrement in serum albumin was associated with a 1.35 times increased risk for sudden cardiac death in the highest compared to the lowest tertile. These findings were robust and consistent when accounting for competing risks of death from other causes. Hence, we found that sudden cardiac death is common among patients with end stage renal disease and that inflammation and malnutrition significantly increased its occurrence independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Cause of Death
  • Cohort Studies
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Serum Albumin


  • Interleukin-6
  • Serum Albumin
  • C-Reactive Protein