Clinical determinants and mortality predictability of stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 activity indices in dialysis patients
Stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD-1) converts dietary saturated fatty acids to monounsaturated fatty acids. Elevated SCD-1 activity thus signifies impaired fatty acid metabolism and excess saturated fat intake. In the general population, increased SCD-1 activity is associated with cardiovascular disease and mortality. The determinants and implications of SCD-1 activity in dialysis patients are unknown.
A total of 222 dialysis patients (39% women) with prospective follow-up, median age of 57 years and an average of 12 months of dialysis.
Fatty acid compositions in plasma phospholipids and free fatty acids (FFAs) were assessed by gas–liquid chromatography. SCD-1 activity indices were calculated as the product-to-precursor fatty acid ratio (palmitoleic acid/palmitic acid) in each fraction to reflect SCD-1 activities in the liver and adipose tissue.
Median hepatic and adipose tissue SCD-1 activity indices were 0.016 and 0.150, respectively. In multivariate analyses, SCD-1 was positively associated with age, female sex and serum interleukin-6 level. During 18.4 (interquartile range 5.5–37.3) months of follow-up, there were 61 deaths and 115 kidney transplants. The cut-off level for high SCD-1 indices was determined by receiver operating characteristic curve analyses. In fully adjusted competing risk models, patients with high SCD-1 indices in both phospholipids and FFAs had more than twofold increased mortality risk before kidney transplantation [hazard ratio (HR) 2.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.28–4.11 and HR 2.36, 95% CI 1.38–4.03, respectively], compared with patients with low SCD-1 indices.
Both hepatic and adipose tissue SCD-1 activity indices independently predict mortality in dialysis patients. Further studies are warranted to determine whether reducing SCD-1 activity by dietary intervention (limiting saturated fat) could improve survival in dialysis patients.