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      Vascular access and increased risk of death among hemodialysis patients.

      Kidney International
      Aged, Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical, mortality, Catheterization, Peripheral, Cohort Studies, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Kidney Failure, Chronic, therapy, Male, Middle Aged, Renal Dialysis, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors

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          Abstract

          Hemodialysis with a venous catheter increases the risk of infection. The extent to which venous catheters are associated with an increased risk of death among hemodialysis patients has not been extensively studied. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 7497 prevalent hemodialysis patients to assess the association between dialysis with a venous catheter and risk of death due to all causes and to infection. A tunneled cuffed catheter was used for access in 12% of the patients and non-cuffed, not tunneled catheter in 2%. Younger age (P = 0.0005), black race (P = 0.0022), female gender (P = 0.0004), short duration since starting dialysis (P = 0.0003) and impaired functional status (P = 0.0001) were independently associated with increased use of catheter access. The proportion of patients who died was higher among those who were dialyzed with a non-cuffed (16.8%) or cuffed (15.2%) catheter compared to those dialyzed with either a graft (9.1%) or a fistula (7.3%; P < 0.001). The proportion of deaths due to infection was higher among patients dialyzed with a catheter (3.4%) compared to those dialyzed with either a graft (1.2%) or a fistula (0.8%; P < 0.001). The adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) for all-cause and infection-related death among patients dialyzed with a catheter was 1.4 (1.1, 1.9) and 3.0 (1.4, 6.6), respectively, compared to those with an arteriovenous (AV) fistula. Venous catheters are associated with an increased risk of all-cause and infection-related mortality among hemodialysis patients.

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