BACKGROUND: Monitoring of glycemic control with hemoglobin A1c (A1c) in hemodialysis patients may be compromised by anemia and erythropoietin therapy. Glycated albumin (GA) is an alternative measure of glycemic control but is not commonly used because of insufficient evidence of association to clinical outcomes. We tested whether GA measurements were associated with mortality in hemodialysis patients with diabetes mellitus.
METHODS: The German Diabetes and Dialysis Study (4D) investigated effects of atorvastatin on survival in 1255 patients with diabetes mellitus receiving hemodialysis. We measured GA during months 0, 6, and 12. Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to measure associations between GA and A1c and all-cause mortality.
RESULTS: Patients with high baseline GA (fourth quartile) had a 42% higher 4-year mortality compared to those in the first quartile (HR 1.42; 95% CI, 1.09–1.85, P = 0.009). Repeated measurements of GA during year one also demonstrated that individuals in the top quartile for GA (analyzed as a time-varying covariate) had a 39% higher 4-year mortality (HR 1.39; 95% CI, 1.05–1.85, P = 0.022). The associations between high A1c and mortality using similar analyses were less consistent; mortality in individuals with baseline A1c values in the 3rd quartile was increased compared to 1st quartile (HR 1.36; 95% CI, 1.04–1.77, P = 0.023), but risk was not significantly increased in the 2nd or 4th quartiles, and there was a less consistent association between time-varying A1c values and mortality.
CONCLUSIONS: High GA measurements are consistently associated with increased mortality in patients with diabetes mellitus on hemodialysis.
- Received for publication April 3, 2016.
- Accepted for publication August 17, 2016.
- © 2016 American Association for Clinical Chemistry