Factors predicting failure of AV "fistula first" policy in the elderly

Hemodial Int. 2014 Apr;18(2):507-15. doi: 10.1111/hdi.12106. Epub 2013 Oct 28.


An arteriovenous fistula (AVF) is the preferential hemodialysis (HD) access. The goal of this study was to identify factors associated with pre-dialysis AVF failure in an elderly HD population. We used United States Renal Data System + Medicare claims data to identify patients ≥ 67 years old who had an AVF as their initial vascular access placed pre-dialysis. Failure of the AVF to be used for initial HD, was used as the outcome. Logistic regression model was used to identify factors associated with AVF failure. The study cohort consisted of 20,360 subjects (76.2 ± 6.02 year old, 58.5% men). Forty-eight percent of patients initiated dialysis using an AVF, while 52% used a catheter or an AVG. The following variables found to be associated with AVF failure when an AVF was created at least 4 months pre-HD initiation: older age (odds ratio [OR] 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.00-1.02), female gender (OR 1.69; 95% CI 1.55-1.83), black race (OR 1.41; 95% CI 1.26-1.58), history of diabetes (OR 1.22; 95% CI 1.06-1.39), cardiac failure (OR 1.26; 95% CI 1.15-1.37), and shorter duration of pre-end-stage renal disease (ESRD) nephrology care (OR for a nephrology care of less than 6 months prior to ESRD of 1.22 compared with a pre-ESRD nephrology follow up of more than 12 months; 95% CI 1.07-1.38). OR for AVF failure for the entire cohort showed similar findings. In an elderly HD population, there is an association of older age, female gender, black race, diabetes, cardiac failure and shorter pre-ESRD nephrology care with predialysis AVF failure.

Keywords: Hemodialysis; elderly; outcome; prediction; vascular access.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arteriovenous Shunt, Surgical / methods*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Renal Dialysis / methods*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome