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Am J Kidney Dis. 2003 Dec;42(6):1260-9.

Characteristics of treated hypertension in incident hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis patients.

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Duke Institute of Renal Outcomes Research and Health Policy, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.



The treatment of hypertension in dialysis patients is prevalent and poorly characterized. beta-Blockers and calcium channel blockers (CCBs) have been associated with reduced all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. This study describes the treatment of hypertension and assesses the association between mortality and class of antihypertensive medication among a cohort of dialysis patients.


The US Renal Data System (USRDS) Dialysis Morbidity and Mortality Study Wave II cohort was analyzed. A total of 2,877 patients initiating hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis in 1996 or 1997 and treated with antihypertensives were included in this analysis. Vital status was followed until November 2000.


Calcium channel blockers were prescribed to 70.3% of patients. Only 31.5% and 27.0% of patients with cardiovascular disease were prescribed angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and beta-blockers, respectively. Mono-, double-, triple-, and more than triple-therapy were reported in 48.0%, 36.1%, 13.2%, and 2.7% of the cohort, respectively. In multivariable, fully adjusted models, no individual class of antihypertensives was associated with changes in all-cause mortality. In all patients, nondihydropyridine CCBs (non-DHP CCBs) were associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular death (hazard ratio, 0.78; 95% confidence interval, 0.62 to 0.97) and among end-stage renal disease patients with preexisting cardiovascular disease, dihydropyridine CCBs (DHP CCBs) and non-DHP CCBs were associated with reduced risk of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.


Calcium channel blocker use is widespread among hypertensive dialysis patients. Antihypertensive prescription patterns suggest a lack of consensus regarding treatment of hypertension. Multivariable analysis of associations between antihypertensive class and mortality reveals results of uncertain clinical significance. Hypertension treatment trials in dialysis patients should be performed to appropriately inform treatment decisions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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