Aim: Malnutrition–inflammation–atherosclerosis syndrome (MIA) in haemodialysis (HD) patients is a common clinical condition characterized by increased mortality rate. The aim of this study was to analyze the frequency of MIA components in a selected population of HD patients with and without diabetic nephropathy.
Methods: The frequency of MIA components was analysed in 49 patients with an over 10-year history of diabetes before initiation of HD (DM group) and 49 non-diabetic HD patients (non-DM group).
Results: The chance for occurrence of atherosclerosis (odds ratio = 3.26) was markedly higher in DM than non-DM subjects. The most frequent MIA component in DM and non-DM subjects was atherosclerosis (67.3% and 40.8%, respectively). Atherosclerosis frequently coexisted with inflammation in both groups (51.5% in DM and 20.0% in non-DM) and less frequently with malnutrition. The frequency of inflammation was only slightly higher in DM, while of malnutrition was similar. Patients with atherosclerosis in the DM group had significantly higher serum concentrations of interleukin-6 than the ones in the non-DM group: 11 (6–24) versus 5 (2–9) pg/mL, respectively (P = 0.002).
Conclusions: We can conclude that: (i) atherosclerosis is more common in HD patients with diabetic nephropathy; and (ii) this fact may explain the poor outcome of these patients and indicates the challenge in diagnostic and therapeutic management.