Study Provides New Information on Risk of COVID-19 in Patients on Dialysis

Strong points

  • Among people with kidney failure who received dialysis at clinics several times a week, the risks of COVID-19 were higher in older patients with diabetes living in local communities with COVID rates -19 higher and having received dialysis in clinics that served a greater number of patients.
  • Risks were lower in patients who received dialysis at clinics with a higher number of side chambers available and who had mask policies for asymptomatic patients.

Washington, DC (June 1, 2021) – Many people with kidney failure have been unable to self-isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic because they require dialysis treatments in clinics several times a week. New research that will appear in a future issue of CJASN highlights the risks run by these patients and the factors involved.

For the study, Ben Caplin, MBChB, PhD (University College London) and colleagues, on behalf of the Pan-London COVID-19 Renal Audit Group, reviewed information on 5,755 patients who received dialysis at 51 clinics in London. Between March 2 and May 31, 2020, a total of 990 (17%) patients tested positive and 465 (8%) were admitted to hospitals on suspicion of COVID-19. The risks of COVID-19 were higher in older patients with diabetes, living in local communities with higher rates of COVID-19, and who received dialysis at dialysis clinics that served a greater number of patients. Risks were lower in patients who received dialysis at clinics with a higher number of side chambers available and who had mask policies for asymptomatic patients. No independent association was observed with gender, ethnicity or deprivation measures.

“Taken together, the results confirm the high rates of symptomatic COVID-19 in patients receiving on-center dialysis and suggest sources of transmission both within the dialysis units and in the communities of origin of patients,” said Dr. Caplin. “The work also suggests that in addition to isolating confirmed cases, addressing factors that could reduce transmission from patients without suspected or confirmed disease could provide an additional opportunity to further modify the impact of COVID-19. in this population. ”


Study co-authors include Damien Ashby, Kieran McCafferty, Richard Hull, Elham Asgari, Martin L. Ford, Nicholas Cole, Marilina Antonelou, Sarah A. Blakey, Vinay Srinivasa, Dandisonba CB Braide-Azikwe, Tayeba Roper, Grace Clark, Helen Cronin, Nathan J. Hayes, Bethia Manson, Alexander Sarnowski, Richard Corbett, Kate Bramham, Eirini Lioudak7, Nicola Kumar, Andrew Frankel, David Makanjuola, Claire C. Sharpe, Debasish Banerjee and Alan D. Salama.

Disclosures: Dr Caplin reports Lifearc personal expenses, Astra Zeneca grants, Colt Foundation grants, Medical Research Council grants, Royal Free Charity, outside of submitted work; Dr Ashby reports personal costs for Fibrogen, outside of submitted work; Dr Corbett is the holder of a patent WO2017148836A1: “A device for vascular connections” issued; Dr Banerjee reports grants from AstraZeneca, grants from Kidney Research UK, personal fees from ViforPharma, outside of submitted work.

The article, titled “Risk of COVID-19 Disease, Dialysis Unit Attributes, and Infection Control Strategy Among London In-Center Hemodialysis Patients”, will appear online at http: // / June 1, 2021.

The contents of this article do not reflect the views or opinions of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and opinions expressed therein rests entirely with their author (s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All the content of ASN publications is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to cover all the uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or possible adverse effects. This content should not be used in a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about any medical condition or before taking any medication, changing your diet, or starting or stopping any treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of the information accessible via ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Since 1966, ASN has led the fight to prevent, treat and cure kidney disease throughout the world by training healthcare professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge and advocating for the highest quality patient care. ASN has more than 21,000 members representing 131 countries. For more information visit http: //

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About Hector Hedgepeth

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