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Association of hemoglobin and survival in peritoneal dialysis patients.


Background and objectives

Interventional trials and some observational studies show target hemoglobin >13 g/dl to be associated with higher mortality in erythropoiesis-stimulating agent-treated (ESA-treated) hemodialysis patients; data for peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients are limited.

Design, setting, participants, & measurements

We tested our hypothesis that higher and lower achieved hemoglobin levels are associated with increased mortality in 9269 ESA-treated PD patients from all DaVita dialysis clinics during the time period July 2001 through June 2006 followed through June 2007 using a time-dependent analysis.


Lower hemoglobin was associated with significantly higher all-cause mortality in ESA-treated PD patients: with hemoglobin of 11.0 to <12.0 g/dl as reference, the time-dependent adjusted death hazard ratios for hemoglobin levels of 10.0 to <11.0, 9.0 to <10.0, and ≤9.0 g/dl were 1.12 (1.00 to 1.24), 1.30 (1.12 to 1.50), and 1.38 (1.14 to 1.67), respectively. The time-dependent adjusted hazard ratios for cardiovascular death with hemoglobin levels of 10.0 to <11.0, 9.0 to <10.0, and ≤9.0 g/dl were 1.11 (0.93 to 1.32), 1.37 (1.09 to 1.72), and 1.12 (0.79 to 1.57), respectively. The same trend for association of lower hemoglobin level with higher mortality was seen in African-American and non-African American men and women. In contrast, there was no association between higher achieved hemoglobin and all-cause or cardiovascular mortality in ESA-treated PD patients.


Lower, but not higher, achieved hemoglobin is associated with higher mortality in ESA-treated PD patients. Randomized controlled trials are needed to examine the target hemoglobin level with lowest mortality in PD patients.

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