Important differences in hospitalization rates among racial and ethnic groups on dialysis

June 19, 2014

There are significant racial and ethnic differences in hospitalization rates among kidney failure patients on dialysis, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). The differences are not consistent across age groups and also differ by causes of hospitalization. Additional studies are needed to determine why these differences exist and how to address them in order to reduce hospitalizations among all dialysis patients.

Hospitalization is frequent and costly among maintenance . Across the United States, approximately 400,000 patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) receive maintenance dialysis each year and spend an average of approximately 15 days in hospitals. While patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis have exceptionally high , our understanding of dialysis patient subgroups at highest risk remains incomplete.

Guofen Yan, PhD (University of Virginia School of Medicine) and her colleagues designed a study to examine hospitalization rates among US hemodialysis patients by both race/ethnicity and age to identify the dialysis patient subgroups at higher risk of hospitalization. The investigators analyzed information on 563,281 patients beginning maintenance hemodialysis between 1995 and 2009.

Among the major findings over patients' first year of dialysis:

  • Overall, whites had higher hospitalization rates than blacks and Hispanics, but younger black patients, older black patients, and older Hispanic had increased hospitalization rates compared with whites of similar ages.
  • Both blacks and Hispanics were at greater risk of hospitalization due to dialysis-related infections than whites.

"Further research is needed to elucidate the biologic and system-level factors in diverse younger and older populations that may influence hospitalizations, mortality, and other clinical outcomes," said Dr. Yan. "Studies are needed to explore in more detail issues such as health beliefs and behaviors, social networks, and other subtleties that may add critical insights to these observations. This could lead to novel interventions to reduce hospitalizations and costs for high-risk subpopulations treated with dialysis."

Explore further: Hispanics live longest, whites shortest among dialysis patients

More information: The article, entitled "Race/Ethnicity, Age, and Risk of Hospital Admission and Length of Stay during the First Year of Maintenance Hemodialysis," will appear online on June 19, 2014.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.