Aim: Protein-energy malnutrition as well as systemic inflammation and metabolic disorders are common in patients with chronic kidney failure who require renal replacement therapy (haemodialysis). Such malnutrition is a factor that significantly contributes to their morbidity and mortality. This study evaluated the nutritional status of haemodialysis patients by assessing biochemical and anthropometric parameters in order to determine whether these patients suffered disorders reflecting nutritional deterioration directly related to time on haemodialysis.
Subjects and Method: This research comprised 90 patients of both genders with chronic kidney failure, who regularly received haemodialysis at our unit over a period of ten years. The patients’ blood were tested quarter for plasma albumin, total cholesterol, and total proteins, and tested monthly for transferrin. The patients’ weight, height and body mass index (BMI) were monitored. Body mass index was calculated using the formula: weight (kg)/height (m2) and classified in one of the following categories defined in The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Database on Body Mass Index: (i) underweight [BMI < 18.50], (ii) normal [BMI 18.50 – 24.99], (iii) overweight [BMI 25 – 29.99], (iv) obese [BMI ≥ 30].
Results: In the ten-year period of the study, the patients experienced a substantial decline in their biochemical parameters. Nevertheless, their BMI did not show any significant changes despite the patients’ state of malnutrition.
Conclusions: The prevalence of malnutrition in haemodialysis patients was evident. Nevertheless, the BMI of the subjects did not correspond to the biochemical parameters measured. Consequently, the results showed that the nutritional deterioration of these patients was mainly reflected in their biochemical parameters rather than in their anthropometric measurements.