Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition that involves 10% - 15% of population worldwide, which increases the risk of cardio-vascular diseases (CVD). Chronic kidney disease is one of the main reasons for illness and mortality in the world. Chronic kidney disease is a serious health problem caused by involvement of a large number of patients with kidney injury, especially in industrial countries. Among the main reasons for this are population living longer and the number of diseases in elderly persons, such as diabetes mellitus type 2, hypertension, and cardio-vascular diseases.
Methods: We evaluated 63 patients on chronic dialysis at the Dialysis Centre at University "Aleksandrovska" Hospital; the average age was 49.9 ± 7.8. Their results were compared to 63 age matched controls. Blood samplings were taken before dialysis procedure. In the included groups, we measured CBC, serum iron (by Ferrozine method), ferritin, soluble transferrin receptors and hsCRP (by nephelometric method), hepcidin (by ELISA method), and homocysteine (by CLIA method). IMT was measured by using electronic calipers and evaluated by automated software programs.
Results: We established elevated serum hepcidin levels in CKD patients (205.1 ± 29.9 µg/L) compared to the control group (20.8 ± 3.1 µg/L), p < 0.001. Serum homocysteine and hsCRP concentrations were elevated in CKD cases (48.7 ± 6.8 µmol/L; 29.7 ± 4.1 mg/L) compared to controls (7.9 ± 1.8 µmol/L; 1.1 ± 0.4 mg/L), p < 0.005. In patients with CKD we found a strong positive correlation between serum hepcidin and homocysteine concentrations, r = 0.879, p < 0.001. In patients with impaired kidney function soluble transferrin receptors correlated negatively to hepcidin: r = -0.799, p < 0.001. In dialysis, the transferrin concentration correlated highly positive to hepcidin: r = 0.691, p < 0.001. IMT in CKD patients correlated positively to hepcidin and homocysteine levels: r = 0.788 and r = 0.841, respectively, p < 0.005.
Conclusions: Chronic kidney disease is connected to cardio-vascular disease risk factors. CKD might be an independent CVD risk factor. In early kidney injury stages, increased morbidity is found from CVD. The risk of fatal and non-fatal cardio-vascular incidents is connected to kidney injury. For clinical practice, early evaluation of hepcidin and atherosclerosis in chronic kidney disease patients is very important.