Navigation Links
Dialysis Patients Do Better at Higher Altitudes
Date:2/3/2009

Researchers say finding may one day lead to better treatment for those living near sea level

TUESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Dialysis patients who call higher altitudes home may live longer than patients residing at sea level.

According to a new study from Harvard researchers publishing in the Feb. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, patients on dialysis living at elevations upwards of 4,000 feet have a 12 percent to 15 percent lower mortality rate than their lowland counterparts.

This information is immediately valuable in helping scientists untangle the biochemistry of kidney function and raising questions to be answered by future research.

"This information helps us understand what's happening to dialysis patients, their status and long-term outlook," said Dr. Jules Puschett, vice dean for program development at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and a nephrologist with Scott & White in Temple, Texas. "We need to verify this with a prospective analysis."

One day, though, this data may translate into therapies that improve mortality even at sea level.

Researchers had previously noted that individuals with end-stage renal disease who lived at higher altitudes paradoxically achieved higher hemoglobin concentrations (hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells) even while receiving lower doses of erythropoietin, a hormone which stimulates the production of red blood cells.

Possibly, less oxygen available at such elevations leads to more mobilization from the body's iron stores, therefore more efficient production of red blood cells (a process known as erythropoiesis), the researchers hypothesized.

This retrospective study followed more than 800,000 patients in the United States who started dialysis between 1995 and 2004.

After just under a year of follow-up, the mortality rate was 220.1 per 1,000 person-years at elevations under 250 feet; 221.2 at elevations of 250-1,999 feet; 214.6 between 2000 and 3,999 feet; 184.9 between 4,000 and 5,999 feet; and hit a low at 177.2 at altitudes above 6,000 feet.

That translated into about a 15 percent reduced risk for those at the highest elevations compared to those at the lowest.

Still, it's not entirely clear if the initial hypothesis -- that less oxygen results in more iron and more red blood cells -- explains the outcome.

"So-called hypoxia-inducted factors [factors induced by lower oxygen levels] affect probably more than 100 systems and genes downstream, some of which may affect long-term survival, including those that may affect cardiovascular health," said study author Dr. Wolfgang C. Winkelmayer, an associate physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

The authors also took the analysis one step further: reviewing data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find that the general population also tends to live longer at a higher elevations, though the benefit is less than that seen in dialysis patients.

"This appears to be the first nationwide observation [of an association between altitude and overall mortality in the U.S. population]," said Winkelmayer said.

One previous study had indicated that some people living in mile-high or comparable cities get sick from the altitude and tend to move back down.

"This is something we can't take into account [in this study], but if that were truly the case then, if anything, the association in the general population would be attenuated and potentially go away," thereby making the effect in dialysis patients even greater, Winkelmayer said.

More information

The National Kidney Foundation has more on dialysis.



SOURCES: Wolfgang C. Winkelmayer, M.D., Sc.D., associate physician, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and assistant professor, medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Jules Puschett, M.D., senior executive associate dean, program development, professor, medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, and nephrologist, Scott & White, Temple, Texas; Feb. 4, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New form of intravenous iron treats anemia in chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis
2. First NxStage Home Hemodialysis Patients Celebrate Five-Year Anniversary
3. Dialysis Corporation of America Announces Acquisition of Maryland Dialysis Center
4. Major North American breakthrough for dialysis patients
5. Overnight Dialysis Saves Lives: Study
6. Dialysis Corporation of America Reports Third Quarter 2008 Results
7. Dialysis Corporation of America Announces $25 Million Credit Facility
8. NxStage(R) Achieves Milestone with 3,000 End-Stage Renal Disease Patients Receiving Daily Home Hemodialysis Therapy
9. Gulf Coast Dialysis Caregivers, Volunteers Brace for Hurricane Ike; Prepare to Maintain Power, Continued Access for Patients to Life-Saving Treatment
10. Dialysis Patient Citizens Welcomes New Members to Board of Directors
11. Frost & Sullivan Honours Redsense Medical With the 2008 European Hemodialysis Emerging Company of the Year Award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Dialysis Patients Do Better at Higher Altitudes
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a ... such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain ... following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... and Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants ... grants came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited ... To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. ... highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB Medicine presented its ... Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards honor the outstanding ... Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With this award, we ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, ... economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered ... already resulted in more than a million dollars of capital investment for five ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, ... design, development and manufacturing of collagen and mineral ... announced today that Bill Messer has ... Marketing to further leverage the growing portfolio of ... devices. Bill joins the Collagen Matrix ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, Technologies, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart Skin, ... Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves electronic ... load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such as ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Research ... World Market for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their ... Market for Companion Diagnostics The World Market ... and personalized medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes ... Test Market (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: