Association of dialysis modality with risk for infection-related hospitalization: a propensity score-matched cohort analysis

Jean-Philippe Lafrance, Elham Rahme, Sameena Iqbal, Naoual Elftouh, Michel Vallée, Louis-Philippe Laurin, Denis Ouimet
Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology: CJASN 2012, 7 (10): 1598-605

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Peritonitis is a well known complication of peritoneal dialysis (PD), whereas in hemodialysis (HD), bacteremia can be life threatening. Whether patients undergoing PD have higher risk than HD patients for infection-related hospitalizations (IRH) remains unknown.

DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: A propensity score-matched retrospective cohort of patients undergoing long-term dialysis between January 2001 and December 2007 was assembled. Propensity scores were calculated using multivariable (demographic characteristics, smoking, body mass index, comorbid conditions, and laboratory data) logistic regression to estimate probability of receiving PD versus HD. A comparison of IRH risk by dialysis modality was estimated using a counting-process survival model.

RESULTS: A total of 910 pairs of patients were matched by propensity scores. During a median follow-up of 2.1 years (interquartile range, 1.1-3.5 years), 341 patients were hospitalized once for an infection, 123 twice, and 106 at least three times. PD was associated with an increased risk for IRH compared with HD (propensity-matched hazard ratio [HR], 1.52). PD was associated with a reduced risk for septicemia (HR, 0.31) and pneumonia (HR, 0.58) but also an increased risk for dialysis-related infectious hospitalizations (HR, 3.44), defined as all cases of peritonitis and vascular access-related bacteremia, but not all septicemia cases.

CONCLUSIONS: PD patients are at higher risk for IRH than are HD patients. This risk is mostly explained by dialysis-related infections. However, further studies are needed to evaluate whether the severity of those hospitalizations is similar and whether this increased risk for IRH is associated with worse outcomes.

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