The Relationship between Serum Ferritin Levels and 5-Year All-Cause Mortality in Hemodialysis Patients
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Introduction: The effect of high serum ferritin levels on long-term mortality in hemodialysis patients is unknown. The relationship between serum ferritin levels and 5-year all-cause mortality in hemodialysis patients was investigated in this study. Methods: A total of 173 prevalent hemodialysis patients were included in this study. The patients were followed for up to 5 years and divided into 3 groups according to time-averaged serum ferritin levels (group 1: serum ferritin <800 ng/mL, group 2: serum ferritin 800-1,500 ng/mL, and group 3: serum ferritin >1,500 ng/mL). Along with the serum ferritin levels, other clinical and laboratory variables that may affect mortality were also included in the Cox proportional-hazards regression analysis. Results: Eighty-one (47%) patients died during the 5-year follow-up period. The median follow-up time was 38 (17.5-60) months. The 5-year survival rates of groups 1, 2, and 3 were 44, 64, and 27%, respectively. In group 3, the survival was lower than in groups 1 and 2 (log-rank test, p = 0.002). In group 1, the mortality was significantly lower than in group 3 (HR [95% CI]: 0.16 [0.05-0.49]; p = 0.001). In group 2, the mortality was also lower than in group 3 (HR [95% CI]: 0.32 [0.12-0.88]; p = 0.026). No significant difference in mortality between groups 1 and 2 was found (HR [95% CI]: 0.49 [0.23-1.04]; p = 0.063). Conclusion: Time-averaged serum ferritin levels >1,500 ng/mL in hemodialysis patients are associated with an increased 5-year all-cause mortality risk.