Increased bone fractures among elderly United States hemodialysis patients

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2014 Jan;29(1):146-51. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gft352. Epub 2013 Sep 26.


Background: Fractures are an important cause of morbidity in hemodialysis patients. Multiple advances in the treatment of mineral and bone disease in hemodialysis patients have occurred. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the rate of fractures in hemodialysis patients has changed over time.

Methods: We studied US Renal Data System (USRDS) datasets to determine the rates of hospitalized fractures among hemodialysis patients. The primary outcome was incidence of fractures requiring hospitalization. The fracture rate per 1000 person-years was calculated by year from 1992 to 2009. The first 90 days after initiating dialysis were excluded from analysis.

Results: The incidence of hip and vertebral fractures increased from 12.5 fractures per 1000 patient-years in 1992 to 25.3 per 1000 patient-years in 2004 (P < 0.0001). Arm and leg fractures increased from 3.2 per 1000 patient-years in 1992 to 7.7 per 1000 patient-years in 2009 (P < 0.0001). The greatest increase in hip and verterbral fracture rate was seen in white patients >65 years of age. After 2004, the incidence rate of these fractures stabilized and subtly declined, but did not decrease significantly.

Conclusions: Fracture rates increased significantly in hemodialysis patients from 1992 to 2004, with most of the increase occurring in elderly white patients. Assessment of fracture risk and management in dialysis patients at greatest risk requires greater emphasis and further study.

Keywords: bone disease; fractures; hemodialysis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / epidemiology*
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology
  • Hip Fractures / epidemiology
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Risk
  • United States / epidemiology