ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Limitations of serum albumin level as a marker of nutritional status in hemodialysis patients

Lucky Aziza Abdullah Bawazir

Lucky Aziza Abdullah Bawazir
Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia – Cipto Mangunkusumo National Referral Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia. Email: aziza.lucky17@gmail.com
Online First: April 01, 2020 | Cite this Article
Bawazir, L. 2020. Limitations of serum albumin level as a marker of nutritional status in hemodialysis patients. Bali Medical Journal 9(1): 149-154. DOI:10.15562/bmj.v9i1.1515


Introduction. Albumin is widely used to evaluate nutritional status. However, its usage on patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) remains controversial. This study was conducted to determine whether serum albumin levels can be used indicator of nutritional status in end-stage CKD patients undergoing routine hemodialysis.

Methods. This cross-sectional study included 535 subjects who underwent hemodialysis twice per week in 2017 from three hospitals in Jakarta, Indonesia. Data were collected from the medical records of the subjects and analysed using descriptive statistics and mean comparisons of independent samples.

Results. Based on body mass index as a marker of nutritional status, the majority (85.9%) of subjects were not underweight. Almost an equal proportion of underweight subjects had normal serum albumin (15.1%) compared with hypoalbuminemia (14.4%). Hypoalbuminemia was found in 29.7% and 28.6% of non-underweight and underweight subjects, respectively. Moreover, there was no significant difference in serum albumin levels between underweight and non-underweight patients (p = 0.886, Mann-Whitney test).

Conclusions. Our data do not support a role for serum albumin level as a marker for nutritional status in CKD patients.

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