Background: The extension of the interdialytic interval due to due to dialysis session non-attendance varies according to which session of the week the patient misses. The impact of this on subsequent hospitalization and mortality is unknown.
Methods: The ARO cohort study prospectively collected data from hemodialysis patients across 15 European countries on demography, comorbidity, laboratory, hospitalisation, mortality and individual hemodialysis sessions from 2007 to 2014. Event rates for death and hospitalisation according to dialysis day of the week were calculated for patients who attended the three previous scheduled hemodialysis sessions, who then on the next scheduled dialysis day either attended or did not attend. The hazard ratio for these events following non-attendance for the first compared to the second dialysis session of the week was estimated using Cox proportional hazards model adjusted for patient demographics.
Results: 3.8 million hemodialysis sessions in 9397 patients were analysed. The non-attendance rates for Monday/Wednesday/Friday sessions were 0.8, 0.9% & 1.4% respectively, and for Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday sessions were 0.6, 1.0% & 1.2% respectively. Compared to those who attended, for the 48-72 h between non-attendance and the next scheduled haemodialysis session, mortality significantly increased from 4.86 to 51.9/100 pt-yrs and hospitalisation increased from 0.58 to 2.1/yr. As time from the two-day break increased, the risk associated with non-attendance lessened: compared to missing the second hemodialysis session, missing the first session had a hazard ratio for mortality of 2.04 (95% CI 1.27-3.29), and for hospitalisation 1.78 (95% CI 1.29-2.47). In patients who attended their scheduled dialysis session and the three preceding, after the two-day break there were absolute increases in mortality (8.3 vs. 4.9/100 pt-yrs) and hospitalisation (1.0 vs. 0.6/yr for the rest of the week) comparable to previous studies.
Conclusions: In addition to hospitalisation and mortality increases seen after the two-day break, additional harm may be manifested in the greater increases in mortality and hospitalisation observed after non-attendance for the first hemodialysis session after the two-day break compared to missing other sessions.
Keywords: Adherence; Compliance; Hemodialysis; Hospitalisation; Interdialytic interval; Mortality.