Supplementary Material for: An Epidemiological Study of Hemodialysis Patients Based on the European Fresenius Medical Care Hemodialysis Network: Results of the ARO Study
Background/Aims: ARO, an observational study of hemodialysis (HD) patients in Europe, aims to enhance our understanding of patient characteristics and practice patterns to improve patient outcome. Methods: HD patients (n = 8,963) from 134 Fresenius Medical Care facilities treated between 2005 and 2006 were randomly selected from 9 European countries (Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Slovak Republic and Slovenia) and Turkey. Information was captured on demographics, comorbidities, medications, laboratory and dialysis parameters, and outcome. Results: Patients were followed for 1.4 ± 0.7 years. Wide variation by country was observed for age, sex and diabetes as a cause of chronic kidney disease. Cardiovascular disease was present in 73% of patients. Dialysis parameters were homogeneous across countries. Arteriovenous fistulas were frequently used (73%). More incident patients had hemoglobin <11 g/dl than prevalent patients (50 vs. 33%, respectively). Phosphatemia and intact parathyroid hormone were similar between incident and prevalent patients (4.7 ± 1.2 mg/dl and 190 vs. 213 ng/l, respectively). Medication use varied widely by country. In total, 5% of patients underwent renal transplantation. Overall death rate was 124/1,000 patient-years. Conclusion: ARO revealed differences in HD practice patterns and patient characteristics in the 10 participating countries. Future ARO studies will fill gaps in the knowledge about the care of European HD patients.