Short-term mortality rates are high among patients on dialysis who contract COVID-19, but those who survive have a low mortality rate between 28 days and 3 months after presenting with the viral illness, according to investigators.

In addition, the majority of patients who survive COVID-19 recover to their preexisting functional and mental health at 3 months after diagnosis, Marc H. Hemmelder, MD, of Maastricht University Medical Center in Maastricht, The Netherlands, and colleagues reported in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation.

The findings are from an analysis of data from 2449 patients on hemodialysis (HD) diagnosed with COVID-19 from February 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. Investigators identified these patients using the European Renal Association COVID-19 Database (ERACODA). The patients had a mean age of 67.5 years.

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Overall, 1909 (78%) of the 2449 patients survived the first 3 months after presentation with COVID-19.

The survival probabilities at 28 days after COVID-19 diagnosis were 90% for non-hospitalized patients, 75% for those hospitalized but not admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), and 47% for those admitted to an ICU. At 3 months, the survival probabilities were 90%, 73%, and 40%, respectively. These data indicate that COVID-19 has a limited effect on survival between 28 days and 3 months after diagnosis, according to the investigators.

Further, at 3 months, 87% and 94% of patients recovered to their preexisting functional and mental level, respectively.

“Together, our results show that although the short-term mortality of COVID-19 in hemodialysis patients is high, surviving patients have a good prognosis to recover from COVID-19, both functionally and mentally,” the authors wrote.

Disclosure: This research was partially supported by Baxter and Sandoz. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


Hemmelder MH, Noordzij M, Vart P, et al. Recovery of dialysis patients with COVID-19: Health outcomes 3 months after diagnosis in ERACODA. Nephrol Dial Transplant. Published online January 14, 2022. doi:10.1093/ndt/gfac008