Bone fractures are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in hemodialysis (HD) patients. The aim of this study was to quantify the incidence of fractures in a cohort of prevalent HD patients and evaluate its relationship with possible risk factors. We performed a retrospective analysis of 341 patients, since they started HD (median of 51 months). Demographic, clinical, and biochemical parameters as well as vascular calcifications (VC) were evaluated. Fifty-seven episodes of fracture were identified with a median HD vintage of 47 months (incidence rate of 31 per 1000 person-years). Age (p < 0.001), female gender (p < 0.001), lower albumin (p = 0.02), and higher VC score (p < 0.001) were independently associated with increased risk of fracture, while active vitamin D therapy (p = 0.03) was associated with decreased risk. A significantly higher risk of incident fracture was also associated with higher values of bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (bALP) (p = 0.01) and intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) levels either < 300 pg/mL (p = 0.02) or > 800 pg/mL (p < 0.001) compared with 300–800 pg/mL. In conclusion, bone fracture incidence in HD patients is high and its risk increases with age, female gender, lower serum albumin, and with the presence of more VC. Prevalent HD patients with low or high iPTH levels or increased bALP also had a higher fracture risk. Therapy with active vitamin D seems to have a protective role. Assessment of fracture risk and management in dialysis patients at greatest risk requires further study.
- Bone fracture
- Chronic kidney disease