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The in-hospital mortality rate of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is 6-8 times greater than that of the general population. A large fraction of patients with ESRD are frail, which further exacerbates this poor outcome. This study aimed to determine the impact of frailty on in-hospital outcomes of patients with ESRD.
This population-based, retrospective study used data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), the largest all-payer US inpatient care database. Data of 1,424,026 hospitalized patients on maintenance dialysis between 2005 and 2014 were included. Patients were classified with respect to frailty status. Primary endpoints were all-cause in-hospital mortality, discharge disposition, length of hospital stay, and hospital costs. Patient characteristics included age, sex, race, income, insurance status, and Charlson’s comorbidity index. Logistic regression and linear regression analyses were conducted to evaluate the associations between frailty and clinical outcomes.
After adjustment for the confounders, hospitalized patients with frailty on maintenance dialysis were at double the risk of in-hospital mortality, 3 times the risk of discharge to long-term facilities, had hospital stays 5 days longer, and incurred $40,000 more in-hospital costs than those without frailty. The impact of frailty on all these in-hospital outcomes was greater among patients aged <65 years than among older adults.
For hospitalized patients on maintenance dialysis, frailty independently predicts worse in-hospital outcomes, with stronger effects on younger patients. The development of adequate interventions for frailty in patients with ESRD and vigilance in treating this subgroup during hospitalization are highly warranted.
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