black and hispanic patients on dialysis have more sepsis than whites

Black and Hispanic patients placed on dialysis for kidney failure are more likely to suffer from Staphylococcus aureus sepsis than white patients, U.S. health officials said Monday.

The risk of suffering from this blood infection is thus 40% higher for Hispanic individuals, and 10% for black individuals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is based for this study on data on patients with end-stage kidney disease between 2017 and 2020.

Using catheters to connect patients to dialysis machines, which clean their blood, increases the risk of sepsis, the CDC says.

Patients with end-stage kidney disease receiving dialysis are 100 times more likely to contract such an infection than adults not receiving this treatment, the study measures.

Some Staphylococcus aureus infections are resistant to most common antibiotics, making them particularly deadly.

The authors of the study note, however, that “other factors than ethnicity could come into play”.

“There are more Staphylococcus aureus infections in parts of the United States with more poverty and overcrowded housing, and lower levels of education,” they note.

According to the CDC, nearly 15,000 sepsis were recorded in 2020, and 34% were due to Staphylococcus aureus.

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