Long-term Health Care Utilization and Associated Costs After Dialysis-Treated Acute Kidney Injury in Children Journal Articles uri icon

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  • RATIONALE & OBJECTIVE: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common among hospitalized children and is associated with increased hospital length of stay and costs. However, there are limited data on postdischarge health care utilization after AKI hospitalization. Our objectives were to evaluate health care utilization and physician follow-up patterns after dialysis-treated AKI in a pediatric population. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study, using provincial health administrative databases. SETTING & PARTICIPANTS: All children (0-18 years) hospitalized between 1996 and 2017 in Ontario, Canada. Excluded individuals comprised non-Ontario residents; those with metabolic disorders or poisoning; and those who received dialysis or kidney transplant before admission, a kidney transplant by 104 days after discharge, or were receiving dialysis 76-104 days from dialysis start date. EXPOSURE: Episodes of dialysis-treated AKI, identified using validated health administrative codes. AKI survivors were matched to 4 hospitalized controls without dialysis-treated AKI by age, sex, and admission year. OUTCOME: Our primary outcome was postdischarge hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and outpatient physician visits. Secondary outcomes included outpatient visits by physician type and composite health care costs. ANALYTICAL APPROACH: Proportions with≥1 event and rates (per 1,000 person-years). Total and median composite health care costs. Adjusted rate ratios using negative binomial regression models. RESULTS: We included 1,688 pediatric dialysis-treated AKI survivors and 6,752 matched controls. Dialysis-treated AKI survivors had higher rehospitalization and emergency department visit rates during the analyzed follow-up periods (0-1, 0-5, and 0-10 years postdischarge, and throughout follow-up), and higher outpatient visit rates in the 0-1-year follow-up period. The overall adjusted rate ratio for rehospitalization was 1.46 (95% CI, 1.25-1.69; P<0.0001) and for outpatient visits was 1.16 (95% CI, 1.09-1.23; P=0.01). Dialysis-treated AKI survivors also had higher health care costs. Nephrologist follow-up was infrequent among dialysis-treated AKI survivors (18.6% by 1 year postdischarge). LIMITATIONS: Potential miscoding of study exposures or outcomes. Residual uncontrolled confounding. Data for health care costs and emergency department visits was unavailable before 2006 and 2001, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Dialysis-treated AKI survivors had greater postdischarge health care utilization and costs versus hospitalized controls. Strategies are needed to improve follow-up care for children after dialysis-treated AKI to prevent long-term complications.


  • Robinson, Cal H
  • Klowak, Jennifer Ann
  • Jeyakumar, Nivethika
  • Luo, Bin
  • Wald, Ron
  • Garg, Amit
  • Nash, Danielle M
  • McArthur, Eric
  • Greenberg, Jason H
  • Askenazi, David
  • Mammen, Cherry
  • Thabane, Lehana
  • Goldstein, Stuart
  • Silver, Samuel A
  • Parekh, Rulan S
  • Zappitelli, Michael
  • Chanchlani, Rahul

publication date

  • January 2023