COVID-19 is associated with a high death rate among patients on maintenance dialysis, researchers concluded in a presentation at the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined virtual conference.

Eduardo Lacson Jr., MD, MPH, of Dialysis Clinic, Inc., of Nashville, Tennessee, and Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues studied 7948 maintenance dialysis patients from 196 affected centers from February 17 to June 1, a group that included 438 patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and 7510 patients who were not infected with the virus. Of the infected patients, 108 (24.7%) died, a death rate much higher than that of the general population, Dr Lacson’s team reported. On multivariable analysis, risk factors for infection included Black race, diabetes mellitus, atherosclerotic heart disease, male sex, living in a congregate setting, and use of inhaled respiratory agents.

Black patients made up 57.8% of the COVID-19 group compared with 45.6% of the uninfected patients. Diabetes mellitus and atherosclerotic heart disease were present in 70.1% and 26.5% of the COVID-19 group, respectively, compared with 58.1% and 21.6%, respectively, of those without COVID-19. In addition, 55% of the COVID-19 group lived in a congregate setting such as a nursing home compared with 8.9% of the uninfected patients.

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Patients on home dialysis were less likely to have COVID-19, with 3.7% of COVID-19 patients on home dialysis compared with 14.2% of the uninfected patients.


Lacson E Jr, Aweh G, Ladik V, et al. SARS-CoV-2 infection and outcomes in chronic dialysis patients. Presented at: Kidney Week 2020 Reimagined virtual conference, held October 19 to 25. Poster PO0711.