Background/Aims: The optimal serum bicarbonate level is controversial for patients who are undergoing hemodialysis (HD). In this study, we analyzed the impact of serum bicarbonate levels on mortality among HD patients. Methods: Prevalent HD patients were selected from the Clinical Research Center registry for End Stage Renal Disease cohort in Korea. Patients were categorized into quartiles according to their total carbon dioxide (tCO2) levels: quartile 1, a tCO2 of < 19.4 mEq/L; quartile 2, a tCO2 of 19.4 to 21.5 mEq/L; quartile 3, a tCO2 of 21.6 to 23.9 mEq/L; and quartile 4, a tCO2 of ≥ 24 mEq/L. Cox regression analysis was used to calculate the adjusted hazard ratio (HR) and confidence interval (CI) for mortality. Results: We included 1,159 prevalent HD patients, with a median follow-up period of 37 months. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that the all-cause mortality was significantly higher in patients from quartile 4, compared to those from the other quartiles (p = 0.009, log-rank test). The multivariate Cox proportional hazard model revealed that patients from quartile 4 had significantly higher risk of mortality than those from quartile 1, 2 and 3, after adjusting for the clinical variables in model 1 (HR, 1.99; 95% CI, 1.15 to 3.45; p = 0.01) and model 2 (HR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.03 to 3.22; p = 0.04). Conclusions: Our data indicate that high serum bicarbonate levels (a tCO2 of ≥ 24 mEq/L) were associated with increased mortality among prevalent HD patients. Further effort might be necessary in finding the cause and correcting metabolic alkalosis in the chronic HD patients with high serum bicarbonate levels.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine