Anemia, hospitalization, and mortality in patients receiving peritoneal dialysis in the United States

Shuling Li, Robert N. Foley, Allan J. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Background. The view that hemoglobin levels in peritoneal dialysis patients should be maintained at 11 to 12 g/dL is based largely on the results of studies in hemodialysis patients. Methods. We studied 13,974 erythropoietin-treated Medicare patients who initiated peritoneal dialysis between 1991 and 1998. Mean hemoglobin levels for the first 6 months of the study and, subsequently, time to first hospitalization and death during a 2-year follow-up were determined. Results. The percentages of patients with hemoglobin levels of <10, 10 to 10.9, 11 to 11.9, and ≥12 g/dL were 24.6%, 40.6%, 27.6%, and 7.2%, respectively. First-hospitalization and death rates, respectively, were 109.5 and 21.6 per 100 patient-years in nondiabetic patients, and 152.9 and 31.5 in diabetic patients. In nondiabetic patients, adjusted hospitalization hazard ratios for hemoglobin levels of <10, 10 to 10.9, 11 to 11.9 (reference category), and ≥12 g/dL were 129 (P < 0.0001), 1.15 (P < 0.0001), 1, and 0.98 (NS), respectively. The corresponding adjusted mortality hazard ratios were 1.43 (P < 0.0001), 1.13 (F < 0.05), 1, and 1.14 (NS). In diabetic patients, hazard ratios of 1.26 (P < 0.0001), 1.07 (NS), 1, and 0.82 (P < 0.01) were observed for hospitalization, and 1.34 (P < 0.0001), 1.18 (P < 0.01), 1, and 0.92 (NS) for mortality. Conclusion. In peritoneal dialysis patients, anemia is associated with hospitalization and mortality in a manner supporting current Kidney Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI) hemoglobin targets. In addition, hemoglobin levels of ≥12 g/dL are associated with lower hospitalization rates in diabetic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1864-1869
Number of pages6
JournalKidney international
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by an unrestricted research grant from Amgen, Inc., Thousand Oaks, California. The authors thank Beth Forrest and James Kaufmann, Ph.D., respectively, for assistance with manuscript preparation and editing.


  • Anemia
  • Death
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Erythropoietin
  • Hemoglobin
  • Hospitalization
  • Kidney Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI)
  • Peritoneal dialysis


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