To investigate the serum level of hepcidin and its relationship with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients.
Blood was obtained from 75 MHD patients before undergoing hemodialysis and 20 healthy controls. Serum hepcidin, advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP) and interleukin (IL)-6 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA). Spearman correlation, and binary logistic regression linear regression analyses were used to assess the relationship between serum hepcidin and other parameters.
The serum level of hepcidin, AOPP and IL-6 was significantly up-regulated in MHD patients compared with the control (P < 0.05). Furthermore, serum hepcidin levels in patients with CVD were higher than those in patients without CVD (P < 0.05). In all MHD patients, serum hepcidin level was correlated positively with erythropoietin (EPO) dose per week (ρ = 0.251, P = 0.030), EPO resistance index (ρ = 0.268, P = 0.020), ferritin (ρ = 0.814, P < 0.001), transferin saturation (TSAT, ρ = 0.263, P = 0.023), AOPP (ρ = 0.280, P = 0.049), high sensitive C reactive protein (ρ = 0.151, P = 0.006), IL-6 (ρ = 0.340, P = 0.003) and left ventricular mass index (LVMI, ρ = 0.290, P = 0.033). Moreover, it was negatively correlated with serum pre-albumin (ρ = −0.266, P = 0.021), total iron-binding capacity (TIBC, ρ = −0.458, P < 0.001), unsaturated iron-binding capacity (UIBC, ρ = −0.473, P < 0.001) and transferrin (ρ = −0.487, P < 0.001). Linear regression analysis showed that ferritin (β = 0.708, P < 0.001), TIBC (β = −0.246, P = 0.032) and IL-6 (β = 0.209, P = 0.041) were independently associated with hepcidin. Results of binary logistic regression analysis suggested that higher serum hepcidin level (>249.2 ng/mL) was positively and independently related to CVD (OR = 1.32, 95% CI [1.20–9.56], P = 0.043).
Serum hepcidin level is associated with CVD in MHD patients, indicating that hepcidin may be a novel biomarker and therapeutic target for CVD.