1Department of Medicine, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.
2Division of Biostatistics and Data Science, Department of Population Health Sciences, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.
3Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, Augusta, GA 30904, USA.
4Department of Dermatology, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.
5Department of Physiology, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.
Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition that causes patchy skin depigmentation. Although the mechanism by which vitiligo induces immunocompromise is unclear, other related autoimmune diseases are known to predispose those affected to infection. Individuals with vitiligo exhibit epidermal barrier disruption, which could potentially increase their susceptibility to systemic infections; patients with renal disease also show a predisposition to infection. Nevertheless, there is little research addressing the risk of infection in dialysis patients with vitiligo in comparison to those without it. A retrospective analysis was performed on patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the United States Renal Data System who started dialysis between 2004 and 2019 to determine if ESRD patients with vitiligo are at an increased risk of bacteremia, cellulitis, conjunctivitis, herpes zoster, or septicemia. Multivariable logistic regression modeling indicated that female sex, black compared to white race, Hispanic ethnicity, hepatitis C infection, and tobacco use were associated with an enhanced risk of vitiligo, whereas increasing age and catheter, versus arteriovenous fistula, and access type were associated with a decreased risk. After controlling for demographics and clinical covariates, vitiligo was found to be significantly associated with an increased risk of bacteremia, cellulitis, and herpes zoster but not with conjunctivitis and septicemia.