Seasonal variations in mortality, clinical, and laboratory parameters in hemodialysis patients: a 5-year cohort study.

L.A. Usvyat*, M. Carter, S. Thijssen, J.P. Kooman, F.M. van der Sande, P. Zabetakis, P. Balter, N.W. Levin, P. Kotanko

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background and objectivesMortality varies seasonally in the general population, but it is unknown whether this phenomenon is also present in hemodialysis patients with known higher background mortality and emphasis on cardiovascular causes of death. This study aimed to assess seasonal variations in mortality, in relation to clinical and laboratory variables in a large cohort of chronic hemodialysis patients over a 5-year period.Design, setting, participants, & measurementsThis study included 15,056 patients of 51 Renal Research Institute clinics from six states of varying climates in the United States. Seasonal differences were assessed by chi-squared tests and univariate and multivariate cosinor analyses.ResultsMortality, both all-cause and cardiovascular, was significantly higher during winter compared with other seasons (14.2 deaths per 100 patient-years in winter, 13.1 in spring, 12.3 in autumn, and 11.9 in summer). The increase in mortality in winter was more pronounced in younger patients, as well as in whites and in men. Seasonal variations were similar across climatologically different regions. Seasonal variations were also observed in neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio and serum calcium, potassium, and platelet values. Differences in mortality disappeared when adjusted for seasonally variable clinical parameters.ConclusionsIn a large cohort of dialysis patients, significant seasonal variations in overall and cardiovascular mortality were observed, which were consistent over different climatic regions. Other physiologic and laboratory parameters were also seasonally different. Results showed that mortality differences were related to seasonality of physiologic and laboratory parameters. Seasonal variations should be taken into account when designing and interpreting longitudinal studies in dialysis patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-115
JournalClinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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