Initiation of sevelamer and mortality among hemodialysis patients treated with calcium-based phosphate binders

Hirotaka Komaba*, Mia Wang, Masatomo Taniguchi, Suguru Yamamoto, Takanobu Nomura, Douglas E. Schaubel, Abigail R. Smith, Jarcy Zee, Angelo Karaboyas, Brian Bieber, Masafumi Fukagawa, Francesca Tentori

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background and objectives Prior studies have shown that sevelamer attenuates progression of arterial calcification and may reduce the risk of death compared with calcium-based phosphate binders. In clinical practice, however, sevelamer is used not only as an alternative but also as an add-on therapy in patients already being treated with calcium-based phosphate binders. We analyzed the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS) data to test the hypothesis that the initiation of sevelamer is associated with improved survival in patients on hemodialysis treated with calcium-based phosphate binders. Design, setting, participants, & measurements We included 12, 564 patients from DOPPS phase 3 and phase 4 (2005–2011) who were prescribed calcium-based phosphate binders at baseline or before sevelamer treatment. Mortalityriskwas assessedusinga sequential stratificationmethod to identifyas-yet-untreatedpatientswhowere appropriately matched to the newly treated patients on the basis of their risk of death. ResultsOf 12, 564 patients, 2606were subsequently treated with sevelamer hydrochloride or sevelamer carbonate. After beginning sevelamer therapy, mean serum phosphorus levels decreased by 0.3mg/dl in the first 4 months and gradually decreased thereafter.We matched 2501 treated patients with at least one as-yet-untreated patient. Patients treated with sevelamer had a 14% lower risk for mortality compared with as-yet-untreated patients (hazard ratio, 0.86; 95%confidence interval, 0.76 to 0.97). Similar results were observed in the sensitivity analyses when changing the matching calipers or the treated and as-yet-untreated ratios, and by using propensity score matching. Conclusions The use of sevelamer as an add-on or alternative therapy to calcium-based phosphate binders is associated with improved survival in patients on maintenance hemodialysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1489-1497
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 7 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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