Severity of anemia predicts hospital length of stay but not readmission in patients with chronic kidney disease: a retrospective cohort study.

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MMCRI, CORE, Nephrology

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Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Anemia, Female, Humans, Length of Stay, Maine, Male, Middle Aged, Patient Readmission, Prevalence, Renal Insufficiency, Chronic, Retrospective Studies, Young Adult


The aim of this study was to examine the relationship of severe anemia to hospital readmission and length of stay (LOS) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 3-5. Compared with the general population, patients with moderate CKD have a higher hospital readmission rate and LOS. Anemia in patients with moderate CKD is associated with higher morbidity and mortality. The influence of anemia on hospital outcomes in patients with moderate CKD has not been characterized.We conducted a retrospective cohort study at Maine Medical Center, a 606-bed academic tertiary care hospital. Patients with CKD stages 3-5 and not on dialysis admitted during February 2013 to January 2014 were eligible. Patients with end stage renal disease on hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, kidney transplant, acute kidney injury, gastrointestinal bleeding, active malignancy, pregnancy, and surgery were excluded. The cohort was split into severe anemia (hemoglobin ≤9  g/dL) versus a comparison group (hemoglobin >9 g /dL), and examined for differences in 30-day hospital readmission and LOS.In this study, the data of 1141 patients were included, out of which 156 (13.7%) had severe anemia (mean hemoglobin 8.1 g/dL, SD 0.8). Severe anemia was associated with increased hospital LOS (mean 6.4 (SD 6.0) days vs mean 4.5 (SD 4.0) days, P < 0.001). The difference was 1.7 day longer (95% CI 0.94, 2.45). There was no difference in readmission rate (mean 11.5% vs 10.2%, P = 0.7).Patients with moderate CKD and severe anemia are at risk for increased hospital LOS. Interventions targeting this high-risk population, including outpatient management of anemia, may benefit patient care and save costs through improved hospital outcomes.



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