Nephrologist follow-up improves all-cause mortality of severe acute kidney injury survivors
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Survivors of severe acute kidney injury remain at high risk of death well after apparent recovery from the initial insult. Here we determine whether early nephrology follow-up after a hospitalization complicated by severe acute kidney injury associates with patient survival. This consisted of a cohort study of all hospitalized adults in Ontario from 1996 to 2008 with acute kidney injury who received temporary inpatient dialysis and survived for 90 days following discharge independent from dialysis. Propensity scores were used to match individuals with early nephrology follow-up, defined as a visit with a nephrologist within 90 days of discharge, to those without. The outcome was time to all-cause mortality of 3877 patients who met the eligibility criteria within a maximum follow-up of 2 years. A total of 1583 patients had early nephrology follow-up of whom 1184 were successfully matched 1:1 to those not receiving early follow-up. The incidence of all-cause mortality was lower in those patients with early nephrology follow-up compared with those without (8.4 compared with 10.6 per 100-patient years, hazard ratio 0.76 (95% CI: 0.62-0.93)). Thus, early nephrology follow-up after hospitalization with acute kidney injury and temporary dialysis was associated with improved survival. This finding requires definitive testing in a randomized controlled trial.
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