Residual Kidney Function and Cause-Specific Mortality Among Incident Hemodialysis Patients

Masaki Okazaki, Yoshitsugu Obi, Tariq Shafi, Connie M. Rhee, Csaba P. Kovesdy, Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: The survival benefit of residual kidney function (RKF) in patients on hemodialysis is presumably due to enhanced fluid management and solute clearance. However, data are lacking on the association of renal urea clearance (CLurea) with specific causes of death. Methods: We conducted a longitudinal cohort study of 39,623 adults initiating thrice-weekly in-center hemodialysis from 2007 to 2011 and had data on renal CLurea and urine volume. Multivariable cause-specific proportional hazards model was used to examine the associations between baseline RKF and cause-specific mortality, including sudden cardiac death (SCD), non-SCD cardiovascular death (CVD), and non-CVD. Restricted cubic splines were fitted for change in RKF over 6 months after initiating hemodialysis. Results: Among 39,623 patients with data on baseline renal CLurea and urine volume, there was a significant trend toward a higher mortality risk across lower RKF levels, irrespective of cause of death in a case-mix adjustment model (Ptrend < 0.05). Adjustment for ultrafiltration rate (UFR) slightly attenuated the association between low renal CLurea and high cause-specific mortality, whereas adjustment for highest potassium did not have substantial effect. Among 12,169 patients with data on change in RKF, a 6-month decline in renal CLurea showed graded associations with SCD, non-SCD CVD, and non-CVD risk, whereas the graded associations between faster 6-month decline in urine output and higher death risk were clear only for SCD and non-CVD. Conclusion: Lower RKF and loss of RKF were associated with higher cause-specific mortality among patients initiating thrice-weekly in-center hemodialysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1989-2000
Number of pages12
JournalKidney International Reports
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • hemodialysis
  • non-cardiovascular death
  • renal urea clearance
  • residual kidney function
  • sudden cardiac death
  • ultrafiltration rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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