Dataset Information


Asymmetric dimethylarginine, race, and mortality in hemodialysis patients.


Background and objectives

Levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine, an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, are elevated in kidney disease and associated with mortality in white European hemodialysis populations. Nitric oxide production and degradation are partially genetically determined and differ by racial background. No studies have measured asymmetric dimethylarginine in African Americans on dialysis and assessed whether differences exist in its association with mortality by race.

Design, setting, participants, & measurements

Asymmetric dimethylarginine was measured in 259 patients on maintenance hemodialysis assembled from 2004 to 2012 in Boston area outpatient centers. Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine the association between asymmetric dimethylarginine and all-cause mortality, and an interaction with race was tested.


Mean (SD) age was 63 (17) years, 46% were women, and 22% were African American. Mean asymmetric dimethylarginine in non-African Americans was 0.79 µmol/L (0.16) versus 0.70 µmol/L (0.11) in African Americans (P<0.001); 130 patients died over a median follow-up of 2.3 years. African Americans had lower mortality risk than non-African Americans (hazard ratio, 0.27; 95% confidence interval, 0.15 to 0.50) that was robust to adjustment for age, comorbidity, and asymmetric dimethylarginine (hazard ratio, 0.35; 95% confidence interval, 0.17 to 0.69). An interaction was noted between race and asymmetric dimethylarginine (P=0.03), such that asymmetric dimethylarginine was associated with higher mortality in non-African Americans (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.29; 95% confidence interval, 1.06 to 1.57 per 1 SD higher asymmetric dimethylarginine) but not in African Americans (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.57; 95% confidence interval, 0.28 to 1.18). Additional adjustment for fibroblast growth factor 23 partially attenuated the association for non-African Americans (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.22; 95% confidence interval, 0.98 to 1.50).


African Americans have lower asymmetric dimethylarginine levels and lower hazard for mortality compared with non-African Americans. Levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine did not explain lower hazard for mortality in non-African American patients. High asymmetric dimethylarginine was a risk factor for mortality exclusively in non-African Americans. Mechanisms explaining these relationships need to be evaluated.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC4123389 | BioStudies | 2014-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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