Infectious complications in individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD) pose a significant source of morbidity and mortality. The overall scope of major infectious complications has, however, received little attention even though some of these events may be preventable. We reviewed infectious hospitalization rates in the CKD and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) populations, comparing them with the non-CKD and non-ESRD groups. We also reviewed preventive vaccination rates for influenza, pneumonia, and pneumococcal pneumonia to assess areas of potential improvement. We reviewed the medical literature and present findings based on hospitalization rates for pneumonia, sepsis/bacteremia, and urinary tract infections in the Medicare CKD, ESRD, and non-CKD populations. Vaccination rates were determined from submitted claims for services with specific codes for the vaccinations. Regardless of the primary cause for the development of CKD, primary kidney disease or secondary to hypertension, diabetes mellitus, or other chronic condition, patient outcomes after the development of infections were 3 to 4 times worse than in the non-CKD population. Influenza vaccination rates were 52%, far less than the target of 90%. Pneumococcal pneumonia vaccination rate was only 13.5%, far less than recommended. CKD is associated with significant major infectious complications, which occur at rates 3 to 4 times the general population. Providers can improve prevention by using fewer dialysis catheters and increasing vaccination rates for influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia.
- Chronic kidney disease
- Infectious complication