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Intravenous iron supplementation does not increase infectious disease risk in hemodialysis patients: a nationwide cohort-based case-crossover study

  • Yen, Chieh-Li1
  • Lin, Yu-Sheng2
  • Lu, Yueh-An1
  • Lee, Hsin-Fu2
  • Lee, Cheng-Chia1
  • Tung, Ying-Chang2
  • Kuo, George1
  • Wu, Lung-Sheng2
  • Tian, Ya-Chung1
  • Chu, Pao-Hsien2
  • 1 Chang Gung University, College of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan , Taipei (Taiwan)
  • 2 Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, 199 Tun-Hwa North Road, Taipei, Taiwan , Taipei (Taiwan)
Published Article
BMC Nephrology
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Aug 22, 2019
DOI: 10.1186/s12882-019-1495-7
Springer Nature


BackgroundStudies have reported conflicting findings on the infection risk posed by intravenous iron supplementation among hemodialysis (HD) patients. We used a novel study design to assess associations between intravenous iron and infectious diseases.MethodsPatients initiating HD between 1998 and 2008 were extracted from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database. Their first infectious disease in the period between 1.5 years after dialysis initiation and 2010 was identified and defined as the index date. Through the case-crossover design, the odds of exposure to intravenous iron within the 1-month period immediately preceding the index date (i.e., the case period) were compared with iron exposure in three different matched control periods for the same enrollee, thus possibly reducing some unmeasured confounders.ResultsA total of 1410 patients who met our enrollment criteria were extracted from incident HD patients. The odds of intravenous iron exposure during the case period versus total control periods exhibited no significant difference (odds ratio: 1.000, 95% confidence interval: 0.75–1.33). In subgroup analyses, this association remained nonsignificant across patients with diabetes mellitus, heart failure, chronic lung disease, venous catheter for HD, and higher iron load.ConclusionsWe found that intravenous iron supplementation did not increase short-term infection risk among HD patients.

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