Fatty deposit around the heart is an independent risk marker for coronary heart disease. But researchers have found that it can also be an indicator of high death risk in patients with chronic kidney disease.

According to the findings of a new study, hemodialysis patients face higher death risk if they have higher amounts of fatty deposits around the heart, medically known as Epicardial Adipose Tissue (EAT).

“We wanted to know if this type of heart fat is related to poor outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease, and it was a very clear marker of risk,” study’s lead researcher, Paolo Raggi, a researcher from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada said.

“The greater the amount of fat around the heart, the greater the mortality rates were in patients.”

The study

The findings of the study are based on an analysis of 109 patients with chronic kidney disease. All patients required regular hemodialysis.

All patients underwent baseline CT scans within 120 days of dialysis initiation. However, baseline EAT scores were available for only 95 patients.

The patients were followed for an average of 49.3 months. During the study span, 27 cases of mortality were reported.

The researchers found that EAT measurements were strongly related to age, BMI, levels of triglycerides and C-reactive protein, coronary artery calcium and aortic calcium. However, they were inversely related to systolic and diastolic blood pressure, serum high density lipoprotein (HPL) cholesterol and serum phosphate.

While the five-year survival rate was 44. 6 percent in patients with EAT readings above the median levels, it was 71.2 percent if EAT measurement was below the median, researchers highlighted.

Each 10 cubic cm increase in EAT volume was associated with a 6 percent increase in the risk of death during follow-up, researchers highlighted.

Although EAT surfaced as an independent indicator of mortality in hemodialysis patients, more studies were required to make confirmatory evidence, the team of researchers from Canada, Venezuela, Italy and the US, Xinhua reported.

The findings of the study are reported in the journal Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation.

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