Predictors of autonomic dysfunction among predialysis chronic kidney disease patients in Nigeria

  • O.D. Onodugo
  • I.I. Ulasi
  • C.K. Ijoma
  • E.B. Arodiwe
  • J.U. Okoye
  • B.A. Ezeala‑Adikaibe
  • N.P. Onodugo
  • E.O. Ugwu
Keywords: Autonomic dysfunction, chronic kidney disease, predialysis patients


Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a global public health problem with increasing incidence and mortality in Africa. Autonomic dysfunction (AD) has been implicated as a major contributor to the disease morbidity and mortality, but little is known about the predictors of this dysfunction in African populations. Understanding the predictors of this condition is necessary for early detection and management of CKDs.

Objectives: This study was designed to determine the predictors of AD in CKD patients in Nigeria.

Materials and Methods: It was a cross‑sectional study of CKD patients at University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria. The CKD patients with AD were compared with those without AD and a normal control group. Autonomic function was assessed through noninvasive cardiovascular tests: measurement of resting tachycardia, orthostatic hypotension, heart rate response (HRR) to standing, HRR to Valsalva maneuvre, and HRR to respiration. Data on symptoms of CKD and AD were obtained using a validated questionnaire.

Results: The mean age of the CKD patients was 41.3 ± 1.5 (range: 21–69) years. Early hospital presentation is associated with significantly less risk of the development of AD (P < 0.001). Dizziness, nocturnal diarrhea, and impotence are the major markers/predictors of AD in CKD patients (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: AD is common among predialysis CKD patients in Nigeria, and best predicted by the presence of postural dizziness, nocturnal diarrhea, and impotence in men. Physicians should, therefore, be on the lookout for these features for prompt and adequate management of cases.

Keywords: Autonomic dysfunction, chronic kidney disease, predialysis patients


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1119-3077