Outcomes of infection-related hospitalization in Medicare beneficiaries receiving in-center hemodialysis

Lorien S Dalrymple, Yi Mu, Patrick S Romano, Danh V Nguyen, Glenn M Chertow, Cynthia Delgado, Barbara Grimes, George A Kaysen, Kirsten L Johansen
American Journal of Kidney Diseases 2015, 65 (5): 754-62

BACKGROUND: Infection is a common cause of hospitalization in adults receiving hemodialysis. Limited data are available about downstream events resulting from or following these hospitalizations.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study using the US Renal Data System.

SETTING & PARTICIPANTS: Medicare beneficiaries initiating in-center hemodialysis therapy in 2005 to 2008.

FACTORS: Demographics, dual Medicare/Medicaid eligibility, body mass index, comorbid conditions, initial vascular access type, nephrology care prior to dialysis therapy initiation, residence in a care facility, tobacco use, biochemical measures, and type of infection.

OUTCOMES: 30-day hospital readmission or death following first infection-related hospitalization.

RESULTS: 60,270 Medicare beneficiaries had at least one hospitalization for infection. Of those who survived the initial hospitalization, 15,113 (27%) were readmitted and survived the 30 days following hospital discharge, 1,624 (3%) were readmitted to the hospital and then died within 30 days of discharge, and 2,425 (4%) died without hospital readmission. Complications related to dialysis access, sepsis, and heart failure accounted for 12%, 9%, and 7% of hospital readmissions, respectively. Factors associated with higher odds of 30-day readmission or death without readmission included non-Hispanic ethnicity, lower serum albumin level, inability to ambulate or transfer, limited nephrology care prior to dialysis therapy, and specific types of infection. In comparison, older age, select comorbid conditions, and institutionalization had stronger associations with death without readmission than with readmission.

LIMITATIONS: Findings limited to Medicare beneficiaries receiving in-center hemodialysis.

CONCLUSIONS: Hospitalizations for infection among patients receiving in-center hemodialysis are associated with exceptionally high rates of 30-day hospital readmission and death without readmission.

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