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Reaching Target Hemoglobin after Hospitalization for Incident Hemodialysis Patients

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The Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI) has established target hemoglobin (Hb) level of 11–12 g/dL for all dialysis patients. For patients who leave an inpatient hospitalization with an Hb under this target, it is hypothesized that several factors contribute to the length of time required to achieve an Hb of 11 g/dL after hospitalization. Objective: 

To identify factors contributing to a decreased likelihood of reaching this target Hb. Methods: 

Using the first hospitalization of patients who initiated HD in 1999 and who were regularly treated with EPO, we identified those with a mean Hb of less than 11 g/dL on EPO claims during the same month as their index hospitalization. Patients were then followed up to see how long it took them to achieve an Hb of 11 g/dL, censored at death, re-hospitalization, a switch of modality, or suspension of EPO treatment. Results: 

A total of 6050 HD patients were identified. 3 months after hospitalization, 70% had achieved 11 g/dL, and 12% had been censored. For the remaining patients who eventually reached 11 g/dL, the average number of additional months required was 2.69 (SE of 0.09). From proportional hazards regression on the time (in months) to achieving an Hb of 11 g/dL, factors that significantly decreased the likelihood of reaching a target Hb included: a diagnosis on the index hospitalization of CHF or hepatic disease, a low Hb prior to the hospitalization, a high dose of EPO prior to the hospitalization, and a longer hospital stay. Conclusions: 

Patients with anemia after hospitalization are at high risk of both persistent anemia and rehospitalization. It is important to address patient comorbidities, to ensure adequate medication usage, and to monitor patient progress to prevent hospitalizations and potential impact on Hb levels.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: U. S. Renal Data System, Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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