Zinc Deficient Intake in Hemodialysis Patients: A Path to a High Mortality Risk

Cristina Garagarza, Ana Valente, Cristina Caetano, Inês Ramos, Joana Sebastião, Mariana Pinto, Telma Oliveira, Aníbal Ferreira, Catarina Sousa Guerreiro

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Zinc is essential for human nutrition and plays an important role in hemodialysis (HD) patients. The aim of this study is to analyze the relationship between zinc intake and mortality in HD patients. Methods: This is a longitudinal, prospective, multicenter study with 582 HD patients from 37 dialysis centers. We recorded clinical and body composition parameters. Dietary intake and physical activity data were obtained using the Food Frequency Questionnaire and International Physical Activity Questionnaire. All statistical tests were performed using SPSS 24.0 software. A P value lower than 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Patients’ mean age was 67.8 ± 17.7 years and median HD vintage was 65 (43-104) months. About 53.6% of the patients presented a deficient daily intake of zinc. Patients with the highest zinc intake were those who had a higher lean tissue index (P = .022), energy (P < .001), and protein (p = .022) intakes. Zinc intake was positively correlated with energy (r = 0.709) and protein intake (r = 0.805) and negatively correlated with the malnutrition screening tool score (r = −0.087). A higher energy, protein, and lower carbohydrates intake, as well as lower HD vintage and higher lean tissue index were predictors of zinc intake. A higher mortality risk was observed in patients with zinc intake below the recommended values, even after the adjustment for age, presence of diabetes, gender, dialysis vintage, albumin, lean tissue index, energy intake/kilogram, and level of physical activity (P = .021). Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of HD patients with an inadequate zinc intake, which is related to worse nutritional and body composition parameters and with a higher mortality risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-93
JournalJournal of Renal Nutrition
Issue number1
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022




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