Body Composition and Survival in Dialysis Patients: Results from an International Cohort Study

D. Marcelli*, L.A. Usvyat, P. Kotanko, I. Bayh, B. Canaud, M. Etter, E. Gatti, A. Grassmann, Y. Wang, C. Marelli, L. Scatizzi, A. Stopper, F.M. van der Sande, Jeroen Kooman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: High body mass index appears protective in hemodialysis patients, but uncertainty prevails regarding which components of body composition, fat or lean body mass, are primarily associated with survival. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: Data between April 2006 and December 2012 were extracted from the Fresenius Medical Care Europe subset of the international MONitoring Dialysis Outcomes initiative. Fresenius Medical Care Europe archives a unique repository of predialysis body composition measurements determined by multifrequency bioimpedance (BCM Body Composition Monitor). The BCM Body Composition Monitor reports lean tissue indices (LTIs) and fat tissue indices (FTIs), which are the respective tissue masses normalized to height squared, relative to an age- and sex-matched healthy population. The relationship between LTI and FTI and all-cause mortality was studied by Kaplan-Meier analysis, multivariate Cox regression, and smoothing spline ANOVA logistic regression. RESULTS: In 37,345 hemodialysis patients, median (25th-75th percentile) LTI and FTI were 12.2 (10.3-14.5) and 9.8 (6.6-12.4) kg/m2, respectively. Median (25th-75th percentile) follow-up time was 266 (132-379) days; 3458 (9.2%) patients died during follow-up. Mortality was lowest with both LTI and FTI in the 10th-90th percentile (reference group) and significantly higher at the lower LTI and FTI extreme (hazard ratio [HR], 3.37; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 2.94 to 3.87; P<0.001). Survival was best with LTI between 15 and 20 kg/m2 and FTI between 4 and 15 kg/m2 (probability of death during follow-up: <5%). When taking the relation between both compartments into account, the interaction was significant (P=0.01). Higher FTI appeared protective in patients with low LTI (HR, 3.37; 95% CI, 2.94 to 3.87; P<0.001 at low LTI-low FTI, decreasing to HR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.47 to 2.17; P<0.001 at low LTI-high FTI). CONCLUSIONS: This large international study indicates best survival in patients with both LTI and FTI in the 10th-90th percentiles of a healthy population. In analyses of body composition, both lean tissue and fat tissue compartments and also their relationship should be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1192-1200
Number of pages9
JournalClinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


  • MASS
  • FAT

Cite this