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Dialysis modality and readmission following hospital discharge: a population-based cohort study


Background — Readmissions following hospital discharge among maintenance dialysis patients are common, potentially modifiable, and costly. Compared with patients receiving in-center hemodialysis (HD), patients receiving peritoneal dialysis (PD) have fewer routine dialysis clinic encounters and as a result may be more susceptible to a hospital readmission following discharge.

Study Design — Population-based retrospective-cohort observational study.

Settings and Participants — Patients treated with maintenance dialysis who were discharged following an acute-care hospitalization during January 1, 2003, to December 31, 2013, across 164 acute-care hospitals in Ontario, Canada. For those with multiple hospitalizations, we randomly selected a single hospitalization as the index hospitalization.

Predictor — Dialysis modality PD or in-center HD. Propensity scores were used to match each patient on PD therapy to 2 patients on in-center HD therapy to ensure that baseline indicators of health were similar between the 2 groups.

Outcome — All-cause 30-day readmission following the index hospital discharge.

Results — 28,026 dialysis patients were included in the study. 4,013 PD patients were matched to 8,026 in-center HD patients. Among the matched cohort, 30-day readmission rates were 7.1 (95% CI, 6.6-7.6) per 1,000 person-days for patients on PD therapy and 6.0 (95% CI, 5.7-6.3) per 1,000 person-days for patients on in-center HD therapy. The risk for a 30-day readmission among patients on PD therapy was higher compared with those on in-center HD therapy (adjusted HR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.08-1.31). The primary results were consistent across several key prespecified subgroups.

Limitations — Lack of information for the frequency of nephrology physician encounters following discharge from the hospital in both the PD and in-center HD cohorts. Limited validation of International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision codes.

Conclusions — The risk for 30-day readmission is higher for patients on home-based PD compared to in-center HD therapy. Interventions to improve transitions in care between the inpatient and outpatient settings are needed, particularly for patients on PD therapy.



Perl J, McArthur E, Bell C, Garg AX, Bargman JM, Chan CT, Harel S, Li L, Jain AK, Nash DM, Harel Z. Am J Kidney Dis. 2017; 70(1):11-20. Epub 2017 Jan 6.

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