Sex differences in the vascular access of hemodialysis patients: a cohort study

Clin Kidney J. 2020 Sep 6;14(5):1412-1418. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfaa132. eCollection 2021 May.


BACKGROUND: We describe differences for probability of receiving a fistula attempt, achieving fistula use, remaining catheter-free and the rate of access-related procedures as a function of sex.

METHODS: Prospectively collected vascular access data on incident dialysis patients from five Canadian programs using the Dialysis Measurement Analysis and Reporting System to determine differences in fistula-related outcomes between women and men. The probability of receiving a fistula attempt and the probability of fistula use were determined using binary logistic regression. Catheter and fistula procedure rates were described using Poisson regression. We studied time to fistula attempt and time to fistula use, accounting for competing risks.

RESULTS: We included 1446 (61%) men and 929 (39%) women. Men had a lower body mass index (P < 0.001) and were more likely to have coronary artery disease (P < 0.001) and peripheral vascular disease (p < 0.001). A total of 688 (48%) men and 403 (43%) women received a fistula attempt. Women were less likely to receive a fistula attempt by 6 months {odds ratio [OR] 0.64 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.52-0.79]} and to achieve catheter-free use of their fistula by 1 year [OR 0.38 (95% CI 0.27-0.53)]. At an average of 2.30 access procedures per person-year, there is no difference between women and men [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0.97 (95% CI 0.87-1.07)]. Restricting to those with a fistula attempt, women received more procedures [IRR 1.16 (95% CI 1.04-1.30)] attributed to increased catheter procedures [IRR 1.50 (95% CI 1.27-1.78)]. There was no difference in fistula procedures [IRR women versus men 0.96 (95% CI 0.85-1.07)].

CONCLUSION: Compared with men, fewer women undergo a fistula attempt. This disparity increases after adjusting for comorbidities. Women have the same number of fistula procedures as men but are less likely to successfully use their fistula.

PMID:33959269 | PMC:PMC8087139 | DOI:10.1093/ckj/sfaa132