The use of phosphate (P)-binders allows hemodialysis patients to take in more protein and thus may maintain a good nutritional status. Protein-energy-malnutrition increases the risk of infection-related death. The association between use of P-binders and the relative risks of infection-related death remains unknown in hemodialysis patients. A total of 2926 hemodialysis patients registered to the Q-Cohort Study was followed up for 4-years. The association between use of P-binders and the risks for infection-related and all-cause mortality were estimated by Cox proportional hazards risk model with multiple adjustments by conventional and propensity-score based approaches. During the follow-up period, 106 patients and 492 patients died of infection and any cause, respectively. Cox proportional hazards models with multivariable adjustments including nutritional confounders showed that the incidence of infection-related death was significantly lower in patients with P-binders use compared with those without (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval] for infection-related mortality 0.63 [0.40–0.99]). The results remained significant even after applying four different propensity score-based analyses. Notably, use of P-binders was associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality. Further studies including randomized controlled clinical trials and observational studies analyzed by an instrumental variable model will provide more robust evidences for the associations observed in our study.
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