Exploring reasons for state-level variation in incidence of dialysis-requiring acute kidney injury (AKI-D) in the United States

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BMC Nephrology


Background: There is considerable state-level variation in the incidence of dialysis-requiring acute kidney injury (AKI-D). However, little is known about reasons for this geographic variation. Methods: National cross-sectional state-level ecological study based on State Inpatient Databases (SID) and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in 2011. We analyzed 18 states and six chronic health conditions (diabetes mellitus [diabetes], hypertension, chronic kidney disease [CKD], arteriosclerotic heart disease [ASHD], cancer (excluding skin cancer), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]). Associations between each of the chronic health conditions and AKI-D incidence was assessed using Pearson correlation and multiple regression adjusting for mean age, the proportion of males, and the proportion of non-Hispanic whites in each state. Results: The state-level AKI-D incidence ranged from 190 to 1139 per million population. State-level differences in rates of hospitalization with chronic health conditions (mostly < 3-fold difference in range) were larger than the state-level differences in prevalence for each chronic health condition (mostly < 2.5-fold difference in range). A significant correlation was shown between AKI-D incidence and prevalence of diabetes, ASHD, and COPD, as well as between AKI-D incidence and rate of hospitalization with hypertension. In regression models, after adjusting for age, sex, and race, AKI-D incidence was associated with prevalence of and rates of hospitalization with five chronic health conditions - diabetes, hypertension, CKD, ASHD and COPD - and rates of hospitalization with cancer. Conclusions: Results from this ecological analysis suggest that state-level variation in AKI-D incidence may be influenced by state-level variations in prevalence of and rates of hospitalization with several chronic health conditions. For most of the explored chronic conditions, AKI-D correlated stronger with rates of hospitalizations with the health conditions rather than with their prevalences, suggesting that better disease management strategies that prevent hospitalizations may translate into lower incidence of AKI-D.

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