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More Kidney Dialysis Is Better, Research Finds
Date:2/24/2012

ns seem to provide a benefit without increasing the risks of complications. One past study found that more frequent dialysis could increase the risk of problems with the dialysis access area.

Here's what the current studies found:

  • One study included 1,873 daily home dialysis patients and 9,365 people undergoing in-center hemodialysis three times a week. "In general, we saw a 13 percent reduction in mortality in the home hemodialysis patients," said study author Eric Weinhandl, an epidemiologist at the Chronic Disease Research Group at the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation. The survival benefit of daily home dialysis was seen across different groups of people -- different sexes, races, weights and more. One area that wasn't improved with more frequent dialysis was the number of people who died from infections. That rate was slightly higher for the more frequent dialysis group, though Weinhandl said it wasn't clear why that was the case.
  • The second study compared standard hemodialysis, which is usually three sessions a week for between 2.5 and 5.5 hours a session, to intensive home hemodialysis for almost five sessions a week for more than seven hours each session. Almost 340 people received home treatment compared to about 1,400 people receiving standard care. People who received intensive dialysis at home were 45 percent less likely to die than patients receiving conventional dialysis over the nearly two-year study period.
  • In the third study, researchers compared the health of 746 patients who received hemodialysis treatments at a clinic three nights per week for about eight hours each night to 2,062 similar patients who received conventional dialysis care. As with the other studies, the researchers saw a significant benefit from the longer dialysis sessions. During a two-year follow-up period, those on night-time dialysis had a 25 percent reduced risk of dying. The night-time group also had benefits such as lower weight, blo
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