Background: Vitamin status and role in end stage renal disease (ESRD) is controversial. This study was aimed at assessing vitamin A, E, B12, and folic acid status in Tunisian ESRD patients and testing their predictive value for overall mortality and cardiovascular events (CVE).
Methods: We examined plasma vitamin A, E, B12, and folic acid in 115 ESRD patients and looked for any correlation with all-cause mortality and CVE after a six year follow-up. Vitamin A and E were determined by HPLC and vitamin B12 and folic acid were determined by enzyme immunoassay.
Results: At enrolment, plasma vitamin A was higher in patients than controls, while plasma vitamin B12 was higher in HD patients. No significant differences were observed for plasma vitamin E and folic acid concentrations between patients and controls. Folic acid and vitamin B12levels were higher in supplemented patients. During the follow-up period, 17 patients were lost, 15 died, and 36 presented a CVE. Survival analysis showed that mortality and/or CVE trend to be lower for high folic acid levels (Log Rank = 0.098). Cox's regression analysis showed that high levels of folic acid are inversely related to all-cause mortality and/or CVE [Hazard ratio (95 % confidence interval), 0.255 (0.08 - 0.740); p = 0.012].
Conclusions: Plasma vitamins A, E, B12, and folic acid concentrations are usually normal in Tunisian ESRD patients. High folic acid levels are associated with fewer CVE and better survival. However, as uremia could be associated with functional vitamin deficiency, maintaining high plasma vitamin levels by adequate nutrition and tolerable supplementation would be beneficial in ESRD patients.
DOI: Clin. Lab. 2011;57:939-946