Morbidity burden of end-stage kidney Disease in Australia: Hospital separation rates among people receiving kidney replacement therapy

Stephen McDonald, Bin Tong

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Mortality associated with dialysis and transplantation is well characterized. Less well described are hospital separation rates for "nonrenal" diagnoses among people receiving kidney replacement therapy (KRT = haemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and kidney transplantation). We examined these rates among Australians receiving KRT. Methods: Observational study based on Australian National Hospital Morbidity Database, incorporating Australian public and private hospitals. Separations from this dataset were examined for 2002-7, excluding day-only haemodialysis. ICD (International Classification of Disease) codes were used to identify separations for people receiving chronic KRT. Separations categorized into "renal" and "non-renal" by principal diagnosis. Separation rate, admission length and in-hospital mortality were compared with the general population. Results: Overall hospital separation rate (adjusted for age and gender) was increased relative to the general population for all groups: for HD patients, relative rate (RR) was 4.49 [95% confidence interval 4.460-4.53]; for PD patients 5.52 [5.460-5.59]; for transplant recipients 4.83 [4.20-4.28] (all p < 0.001). When restricted to separations with a "non-renal" principal diagnosis, the excess remained among KRT groups: HD adjusted RR 2.20 [2.170-2.22], PD 2.00 [1.950-2.04] and transplants 2.63 [2.600-2.66], all p < 0.001). The length and in-hospital mortality for separations in each KRT group was also increased. By ICD-10 chapter, rates of separations with infectious and metabolic causes were increased in all KRT groups; separations with circulatory and respiratory causes were also increased. Conclusion: Among people receiving KRT in Australia, there is a substantial burden of morbidity in addition to that directly related to KRT. This is most marked for infective, endocrine and circulatory and respiratory hospitalisations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)758-766
Number of pages9
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Nov 2011


  • Dialysis
  • Hospital separation
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Observational study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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