The kidneys are very important in cleaning the blood of toxins. Patients with declining kidney function (chronic kidney disease, CKD) may have to go on dialysis to help cleanse the blood when their kidneys no longer work on their own. Dialysis can be done in different ways, depending on the individual’s condition and other factors. Hemodialysis is when the patient’s blood is run through a machine to help cleanse it several times a week and peritoneal dialysis is when a bag of fluid is inserted into the abdomen then drained several times a day are two different types of dialysis. In general, CKD is a very serious condition, as once a patient goes on dialysis, they are have an increased risk of dying.
Individuals with CKD have a greater risk of an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) for reasons that are not clear. Having abnormal thyroid function like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland) is itself associated with higher risks of death, perhaps as a result of heart disease, which has been shown both in the general population with normal kidney function and in those receiving hemodialysis. What is not known is whether having abnormal thyroid function is also associated with higher risks of death in those receiving peritoneal dialysis. This study was done to examine this question using data from a large U.S. national dialysis organization.
THE FULL ARTICLE TITLE:
Rhee CM et al. Thyroid Functional Disease and Mortality in a National Peritoneal Dialysis Cohort. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Nov;101(11):4054-4061.
SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
This was a study of 1,484 adults receiving peritoneal dialysis between 2007–2011. Among this group, the researchers looked at the relationships between TSH levels and death from any cause. Patient with a low TSH were considered to be hyperthyroid while those with an increased TSH were considered to be hypothyroid. The patients in this study were primarily women (52%) and non-Hispanic whites (67%) with an average age of 60 years.