Aims: Anemia and cardiovascular (CV) events are major complications of chronic kidney disease (CKD) during dialysis. We conducted a retrospective observational study in CKD patients with anemia to evaluate the association between predialysis use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) and postdialysis CV outcomes. Methods: The study analyzed claims data on incident hemodialysis patients aged ≥ 18 years (identified between January 2000 and November 2005). Patients were identified as anemic and ESA-treated prior to dialysis. ESA treatment was categorized into 4 consistency groups (from least to most consistent ESA use). Results: Of 5,848 hemodialysis patients, 52% were identified as anemic prior to onset of dialysis. Predialysis ESA treatment was received by 62% of anemic patients, with only 23% receiving the most consistent treatment. The risk of a CV event was significantly lower for the ESA-treated compared with ESA-untreated patients (relative risk (RR) 0.70, 95% (95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.61-0.82)). Compared with ESA-untreated, those who received ESAs had significantly lower risk of acute myocardial infarction (RR 0.65 (95% CI 0.44-0.95)) or inpatient mortality (RR 0.52 (95% CI 0.40-0.68)). ESA-treated patients in each of the 4 consistency groups had significantly lower risk of CV events compared with ESA-untreated patients, with the greatest benefit seen in patients who received most consistent ESA (RR 0.61 (95% Cl 0.48-0.76)). Conclusions: This analysis suggests consistent ESA use to treat anemia of CKD in the predialysis period is associated with improved cardiovascular outcomes in postdialysis patients.
- Postdialysis outcomes
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