Kidney Outcomes Among Medicare Beneficiaries After Hospitalization for Heart Failure.



Kidney health has received increasing focus as part of comprehensive heart failure (HF) treatment efforts. However, the occurrence of clinically relevant kidney outcomes in contemporary populations with HF has not been well studied.


To examine rates of incident dialysis and acute kidney injury (AKI) among Medicare beneficiaries after HF hospitalization.

Design, setting, and participants

This retrospective cohort study evaluated adults aged 65 years or older who were hospitalized for HF across 372 sites in the Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure registry in the US between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2018. Patients younger than 65 years or requiring dialysis either during or prior to hospitalization were excluded. Data were analyzed from May 4, 2021, to March 8, 2024.

Main outcomes and measures

The primary outcome was inpatient dialysis initiation in the year after HF hospitalization and was ascertained via linkage with Medicare claims data. Other all-cause and cause-specific hospitalizations were also evaluated. The covariate-adjusted association between discharge estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and 1-year postdischarge outcomes was examined using Cox proportional hazards regression models.


Overall, among 85 298 patients included in the analysis (mean [SD] age, 80 [9] years; 53% women) mean (SD) left ventricular ejection fraction was 47% (16%) and mean (SD) eGFR was 53 (29) mL/min per 1.73 m2; 54 010 (63%) had an eGFR less than 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2. By 1 year after HF hospitalization, 6% had progressed to dialysis, 7% had progressed to dialysis or end-stage kidney disease, and 7% had been readmitted for AKI. Incident dialysis increased steeply with lower discharge eGFR category: compared with patients with an eGFR of 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2 or more, individuals with an eGFR of 45 to less than 60 and of less than 30 mL/min per 1.73 m2 had higher rates of dialysis readmission (45 to <60: adjusted hazard ratio [AHR], 2.16 [95% CI, 1.86-2.51]; <30: AHR, 28.46 [95% CI, 25.25-32.08]). Lower discharge eGFR (per 10 mL/min per 1.73 m2 decrease) was independently associated with a higher rate of readmission for dialysis (AHR, 2.23; 95% CI, 2.14-2.32), dialysis or end-stage kidney disease (AHR, 2.34; 95% CI, 2.24-2.44), and AKI (AHR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.23-1.27), with similar findings for all-cause mortality, all-cause readmission, and HF readmission. Baseline left ventricular ejection fraction did not modify the covariate-adjusted association between lower discharge eGFR and kidney outcomes.

Conclusions and relevance

In this study, older adults with HF had substantial risk of kidney complications, with an estimated 6% progressing to dialysis in the year after HF hospitalization. These findings emphasize the need for health care approaches prioritizing kidney health in this high-risk population.






Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Ostrominski, John W, Stephen J Greene, Ravi B Patel, Nicole C Solomon, Karen Chiswell, Adam D DeVore, Javed Butler, Paul A Heidenreich, et al. (2024). Kidney Outcomes Among Medicare Beneficiaries After Hospitalization for Heart Failure. JAMA cardiology. 10.1001/jamacardio.2024.1108 Retrieved from

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Stephen Greene

Associate Professor of Medicine

I am a cardiologist with a clinical and research interest in heart failure. I take care of patients with various types of heart failure, including patients who are best treated with medications and patients who receive advanced therapies like heart transplantation and mechanical assist devices. I became a heart failure cardiologist to help patients manage their heart conditions and best achieve their goals for their health. I am strongly committed to helping patients thoroughly understand their medical conditions and helping them make informed medical decisions aligned with their preferences.

My research interests are focused on strategies and therapies to improve outcomes and quality of life for patients with heart failure. This involves research through clinical trials and through examining data from real-world clinical practice. Below, you will find my specific research interests:

  • Use and dosing of evidence-based heart failure medications
  • Management of worsening heart failure outside the hospital
  • Novel pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to heart failure
  • Improving outcomes following a hospitalization for heart failure
  • Surrogate and nonfatal endpoints in heart failure clinical trials
  • Clinical trial design and operations
  • Improving site-based heart failure research

Nicole Solomon

Biostatistician, Senior

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