Protein-energy malnutrition and wasting are common among patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and these complications are strongly associated with poor survival in these patients. Whereas both under- and overweight predict in increased mortality risk in the general population, a high body mass index is associated with better outcome in ESRD patients. Circulating levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines are markedly elevated in uremia and also predictor of a poor clinical outcome in ESRD patients. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β), which is a major pro-inflammatory cytokine, may further amplify inflammation and lead to malnutrition, through inducing anorexia, and muscle wasting due to increased protein breakdown. Several clinical studies have shown that the circulating level of IL-1β may affect nutritional status, especially body composition. Several IL-1 gene cluster polymorphisms were reported, and they may affect the prevalence of cytokine-mediated diseases. Although a number of factors are related to malnutrition and wasting in ESRD, pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1β, may play an important role. This could in part be due to genetic factors. Further research, especially regarding the IL-1 gene cluster polymorphisms, is necessary to determine this hypothesis.

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