Background: Haemodialysis patients were studied in 12 countries to identify practice patterns of prescription of antihypertensive agents (AHA) associated with survival.
Methods: The sample included 28 513 patients enrolled in DOPPS I and II. The classes of AHA studied were beta blocker (BB), angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI), angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB), peripheral blocker, central antagonist, vasodilator, long-acting dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker (CCB), short-acting dihydropyridine CCB and non-dihydropyridine CCB. To reduce bias due to unmeasured confounders, the associations with mortality were assessed by separate Cox models based on patient-level prescription and facility prescription practice.
Results: An increase in prescription of ARBs (9.5%) and BBs (9.1%) was observed from DOPPS I to II. Prescription of AHA classes varied significantly by country, ranging for BBs from 9.7% in Japan to 52.7% in Sweden and for ARBs from 5.5% in Italy to 21.3% in Japan in DOPPS II. Facilities that treated 10% more patients with ARBs had, on average, 7% lower all-cause mortality, independent of patient characteristics and the prescription patterns of other antihypertensive medications (P = 0.05). Significant and independent associations with reduction in cardiovascular mortality were observed for ARBs (RR = 0.79; P = 0.005) and BBs (RR = 0.87, P = 0.004) in analyses of patient-level prescriptions. These associations in the facility-level model followed the same direction.
Conclusions: DOPPS data show large variations across countries in AHA prescription for haemodialysis patients. The data suggest an association between ARB use and reduction in all-cause mortality, as well as with the use of BBs and reduction in cardiovascular mortality among haemodialysis patients.