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Two-Day Dialysis Interval Could Pose Danger: Study
Date:9/22/2011

By Mary Brophy Marcus
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Waiting more than a day between dialysis treatments ups the risk of death and hospitalization in people with kidney disease, new research suggests.

Patients are more likely to die or head to the hospital for cardiovascular-related and other complications following a two-day interval between dialysis sessions compared to a one-day gap, concluded researchers from the U.S. Renal Data System (USRDS) and the University of Minnesota, both in Minneapolis.

"It shows an association between adverse outcomes and a two-day interval between dialysis sessions," said study author Dr. Robert Foley, deputy director of the USRDS Coordinating Center, whose observational study involved more than 32,000 people on hemodialysis.

Hemodialysis is the more common form of dialysis in the United States, said Dr. Martin Zand, a professor of medicine in the division of nephrology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. Used by people whose kidneys function at about 15 percent or less, this machine-based treatment removes toxins and extra fluid from the blood. Zand said kidney failure patients typically visit an outpatient dialysis center three times a week for sessions that last roughly four hours.

"Most patients are on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule, or a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday schedule, so once a week, they're missing dialysis for two days instead of one," Zand explained.

More than 340,000 people with chronic kidney disease are on hemodialysis, according to the U.S. National Kidney Foundation. In 75 percent of cases, kidney failure is caused by diabetes and high blood pressure.

The study, published in the Sept. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, followed 32,065 dialysis patients, average age 62, for a little more than two years.

During that time, 41 percent died from all causes. The av
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