Background Cardiothoracic ratio by chest radiography is commonly used to assess volume status. Little is known about the relationships between cardiothoracic ratio and the incidence of clinical outcomes in patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD). Study Design Prospective cohort study. Setting & Participants 3,436 participants in the Q-Cohort Study 18 years or older who underwent maintenance HD in Japan. Predictor Cardiothoracic ratio. Outcomes & Measurements All-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD) events. Results During a 4-year follow-up period, 564 (16.4%) patients died of any cause and 590 (17.2%) developed CVD events. From baseline cardiothoracic ratios, participants were categorized into sex-specific quartiles because cardiothoracic ratio distribution differed by sex. The 4-year event-free survival rate, in terms of all-cause mortality and CVD events, was significantly lower with higher cardiothoracic ratios. Compared to the lowest cardiothoracic ratio (quartile 1), multivariable-adjusted HRs for all-cause mortality were 0.89 (95% CI, 0.66-1.20), 1.41 (1.08-1.86), and 1.52 (1.17-2.00) in patients from quartiles 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Similarly, in comparison to quartile 1, multivariable-adjusted HRs for CVD events were 1.00 (95% CI, 0.77-1.31), 1.18 (0.92-1.53), and 1.37 (1.07-1.76) in patients from quartiles 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Furthermore, the combination of higher cardiothoracic ratio and normohypotension (systolic blood pressure < 140 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure < 90 mm Hg) was associated with higher risk for CVD events. Limitations Single measurement of all variables, potentially less-heterogeneous patient population, and limited ascertainment of cardiac parameters and the outcomes. Conclusions Higher cardiothoracic ratio is associated with higher risk for both all-cause mortality and CVD events in patients undergoing HD.
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