Serious Fall Injury History and Adverse Health Outcomes After Initiating Hemodialysis Among Older U.S. Adults.


Journal Article

Background: Although older adults with predialysis chronic kidney disease are at higher risk for falls, the prognostic significance of a serious fall injury prior to dialysis initiation has not been well described in the end-stage renal disease population. Methods: We examined the association between a serious fall injury in the year prior to starting hemodialysis and adverse health outcomes in the year following dialysis initiation using a retrospective cohort study of U.S. Medicare beneficiaries ≥ 67 years old who initiated dialysis in 2010-2012. Serious fall injuries were defined using diagnostic codes for falls plus an injury (fracture, joint dislocation, or head injury). Health outcomes, defined as time-to-event variables within the first year of dialysis, included four outcomes: a subsequent serious fall injury, hospital admission, post-acute skilled nursing facility (SNF) utilization, and mortality. Results: Among this cohort of 81,653 initiating hemodialysis, 2,958 (3.6%) patients had a serious fall injury in the year prior to hemodialysis initiation. In the first year of dialysis, 7.6% had a subsequent serious fall injury, 67.6% a hospitalization, 30.7% a SNF claim, and 26.1% died. Those with versus without a serious fall injury in the year prior to hemodialysis initiation were at higher risk (hazard ratio, 95% confidence interval) for a subsequent serious fall injury (2.65, 2.41-2.91), hospitalization (1.11, 1.06-1.16), SNF claim (1.40, 1.30-1.50), and death (1.14, 1.06-1.22). Conclusions: For older adults initiating dialysis, a history of a serious fall injury may provide prognostic information to support decision making and establish expectations for life after dialysis initiation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bowling, CB; Hall, RK; Khakharia, A; Franch, HA; Plantinga, LC

Published Date

  • August 10, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 73 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 1216 - 1221

PubMed ID

  • 29346522

Pubmed Central ID

  • 29346522

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1758-535X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/gerona/glx260


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States