Free thyroxine level as an independent predictor of infection-related mortality in patients on peritoneal dialysis: A prospective multicenter cohort study

Clinical Research Center for End Stage Renal Disease (CRC for ESRD) Investigators

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Background: Previous studies have reported the relationship between thyroid hormone levels and mortality in dialysis patients. However, little is known about the association of free thyroxine (fT4) and mortality in patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD). This study investigated the association between basal and annual variation in fT4 level and mortality in PD patients. Methods: Patients on maintenance PD were enrolled from a prospective multicenter cohort study in Korea; their serum triiodothyronine, fT4, and thyroid-stimulating hormone levels were measured 12 months apart. Patients with overt thyroid disease and those receiving thyroid hormone replacement therapy were excluded from the analysis. Patients were divided into two groups based on the median levels of fT4. The differences of all-cause, infection-related, and cardiovascular mortalities were analyzed between the two groups. The association of basal levels and annual variation with mortality was investigated with Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional hazard models. Results: Among 235 PD patients, 31 (13.2%) deaths occurred during the mean follow-up period of 24 months. Infection (38.7%) was the most common cause of death. Lower basal fT4 levels were an independent predictor of all-cause and infection-related death (hazard ratio [HR]=2.74, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.27-5.90, P=0.01, and HR=6.33, 95% CI 1.16-34.64, P-0.03, respectively). Longitudinally, patients with persistently lower fT4 levels during the 12-month period had significantly higher all-cause mortality than those with persistently higher levels (HR=3.30, 95% CI 1.15-9.41, P=0.03). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of fT4 for predicting all-cause and infection-related mortality was 0.60 and 0.68, respectively. Conclusions: fT4 level is an independent predictor of mortality and is especially attributable to infection in PD patients. This predictor was consistent when considering both baseline measurements and annual variation patterns. Close attention to infection in PD patients with relatively lower fT4 levels should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere112760
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Korean Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry for Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI10C2020 and A111345), and a National Research Foundation grant funded by the Korea Government (MEST) (No. 20100019392). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Jung et al.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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