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Mortality, Kidney Failure, and Hospitalization Among Medicare Beneficiaries With CKD and Pulmonary Hypertension.

Navaneethan SD, Walther CP, Gregg LP, Bansal S, Winkelmayer WC, Nambi V, Niu J. Mortality, Kidney Failure, and Hospitalization Among Medicare Beneficiaries With CKD and Pulmonary Hypertension. American journal of kidney diseases : the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation. 2021 Nov 1; 78(5):700-708.e1.

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RATIONALE and OBJECTIVE: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is highly prevalent among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) not requiring kidney replacement therapy. We studied the associations of PH with mortality, kidney failure, as well as cardiovascular (CV) and non-CV hospitalization among Medicare beneficiaries with a CKD diagnosis. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective, observational study using a matched cohort design. SETTING and PARTICIPANTS: Patients with PH (based on 2 claims within 2 years) and patients without PH matched on CKD stage from the Medicare 5% CKD sample (1996-2016). PREDICTOR: Presence of pulmonary hypertension. OUTCOME: Mortality, kidney failure, and all-cause, CV, and non-CV hospitalization. ANALYTICAL APPROACH: Cox proportional hazards models to assess the association between PH and mortality, adjusting for age, sex, race, and comorbidities. Death was considered as a competing event in Fine-Gray models to assess the association between PH and kidney failure. Negative binomial model was used to evaluate the relationship between PH and all-cause, CV, and non-CV hospitalizations. RESULTS: 30,052 patients with PH and CKD and 150,260 CKD stage-matched patients without diagnosed PH were studied. The median age of the study population was 80.7 years, 57.8% were women, and 10.3% were African Americans. The presence of PH was associated with an increased risk of mortality after 1 (HR, 2.87 [95% CI, 2.79-2.95]), 2-3 (HR, 1.56 [95% CI, 1.51-1.61]), and 4-5 (HR, 1.47 [95% CI, 1.40-1.53]) years of follow-up, and a higher risk of all-cause, CV, and non-CV hospitalization during the same period. PH was also associated with kidney failure in after 1 and 2-3 years but not after 4-5 years of follow-up evaluation. Patients with PH also experienced higher rates of acute kidney injury (AKI), and AKI requiring dialysis support within 30 and 90 days of AKI. LIMITATIONS: Reliance on billing codes and lack of echocardiogram or right heart catheterization data CONCLUSIONS: Among older Medicare beneficiaries with a CKD diagnosis not requiring kidney replacement therapy, the presence of PH was associated with an increased risk of mortality, kidney failure, and hospitalization. Understanding of the mechanism of these associations, especially the increased risk of kidney failure, requires further study.

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