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Overnight Dialysis Saves Lives: Study
Date:11/7/2008

imilar pool of patients who maintained the typical regimen of four hours of treatment, three days a week.

The overnight patients experienced a 78 percent drop in mortality compared with standard patients. Also, overnight patients experienced marked improvements in blood pressure control, which translated into a two-thirds drop in the use of blood pressure medications.

And, levels of the mineral phosphate declined toward normal levels among the overnight dialysis patients, which led to a 72 percent decline in the use of drugs to lower phosphate absorption.

The overnight patients also reported increased appetite, desirable weight gain, and a boost in blood protein levels.

What's more, many of the overnight patients returned to work, reported improved job performance and had better mental functioning.

"We expect that these data would be convincing to the whole society -- including physicians, patients, health authorities, and social security institutions -- for the necessity of longer hemodialysis in order to improve high mortality and morbidity," Ok said.

Dr. Robert Provenzano, chairman of the department of nephrology at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, said that while the study "has merit, it needs to be validated."

"What we do know for a fact is that more dialysis is better. That should be intuitive, since your kidneys work seven days a week, 24 hours a day," he said. "And data from Europe and even the U.S. looking at more frequent dialysis has already shown improvements across the board: in cardiovascular status, anemia, blood pressure, a better sense of well-being, and less hospitalization."

"But the problem here is that in this study, the patients were self-selected," Provenzano added. "So it's not a randomized, controlled study. Which might mean that the findings may be almost too good to believe. Since in developing countries, such as Turkey, China, India, patients
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