Hispanic and Black dialysis patients have higher rates of staph infections: CDC : NPR

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A patient undergoes dialysis at a clinic in Sacramento, Calif. New CDC data highlights racial disparities in the risk of staph bloodstream infections among dialysis patients.

Mr. Pedroncelli/AP

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Mr. Pedroncelli/AP

A patient undergoes dialysis at a clinic in Sacramento, Calif. New CDC data highlights racial disparities in the risk of staph bloodstream infections among dialysis patients.

Mr. Pedroncelli/AP

Data show that black and Hispanic dialysis patients in the United States have higher risks of developing staph bloodstream infections than their white counterparts, federal health officials say, adding that the reduction in inequalities can save lives.

A report released Monday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sheds light on the risks and the differences associated with them dialysis for end-stage kidney disease, in which a machine does the work of those organs by removing waste and excess fluid from the blood.

“More than half of the people in the United States receiving dialysis belong to a racial or ethnic minority group – about 1 in 3 people receiving dialysis is Black and 1 in 5 is Hispanic,” he said the CDC. in a release. “CDC data found dialysis patients in these groups have higher rates of staph bloodstream infections than White dialysis patients.”

Dialysis treatment is necessary for individuals whose kidneys are failing — often as a result of high blood pressure, diabetes, lupus or other conditions — but it comes with risks, the CDC says.

Because patients are connected to machines with needles or catheters, Staphylococcus and other bacteria can enter their bloodstream. Dialysis facilities reported more than 14,000 blood infections to a national tracking system in 2020, of which 34% were due to staph. About 560,000 Americans with end-stage kidney disease received dialysis that year.

Some staph infections are resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat them, and can be fatal.

Between 2017 and 2020, the CDC found that adults on dialysis for end-stage kidney disease were 100 times more likely to have a staph bloodstream infection than adults who did not receive the treatment. Hispanic patients had a 40% higher risk of those infections than white patients during that period.

After adjusting for age, gender and other factors, the study concludes that Hispanic patients and those between the ages of 18-49 face the highest risk, as do people living in areas with more poverty. , overcrowding at home and lower education.

The CDC outlined other common challenges for many dialysis patients, including a lack of access to preventive care for conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure and a lack of patient education about treatment options for diseases of the -kidneys in the last stage.

The unadjusted rate of staph bloodstream infections among Black patients was 23% higher than white patients, but when the CDC adjusted for other factors the rate was not statistically significant, CNBC reports.

“It is still important to highlight these elevated rates because staph bloodstream infections occur at a higher rate in Black patients on dialysis but there are other factors that contribute to this elevated rate outside of just race,” CDC spokeswoman Martha Sharan told the outlet.

However, there is some encouraging news: Blood infections in dialysis patients have decreased since 2014, and there are steps patients and healthcare providers can take to try to avoid them.

“Bloodborne infections associated with dialysis are preventable — not inevitable,” said Dr. Shannon Novosad, the dialysis safety team leader at the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. CDC Health.

What public health and healthcare professionals can do

The CDC says the best way to prevent staph bloodstream infections is by finding chronic kidney disease early enough to put patients on dialysis.

“Health care providers can promote preventive practices, including methods to manage diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as provide education about treatment options among all patients and particularly those in greater risk, to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease,” says the CDC’s Chief Medical Officer. Officer Debra Houry.

The report highlights the importance of reducing barriers to health care by offering transportation assistance, expertise in insurance coverage, social work services and educational resources in multiple languages.

While chronic kidney disease is generally irreversible, it is certain nutritional, lifestyle and medical interventions can help slow its progression. Those include limiting sodium, quitting smoking and improving blood pressure control.

When dialysis is necessary, the CDC says providers should prioritize methods that create a lower risk of infection, including the use of proven infection prevention and control practices. This may also mean using fistulas or grafts instead of higher risk catheters.

“Education and implementation of established best practices to prevent bloodstream infections are critical to protect the entire [dialysis] patient community,” the study concludes, “including those most at risk.”

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