Longer dialysis interval linked to deaths

UNDERGOING haemodialysis three times a week may be insufficient for optimum survival of patients with end-stage renal disease, a large study suggests.

The US review of the records of more than 32,000 patients found mortality was higher in the group with the longest interval between dialysis sessions (two days).

The research, funded by the US National Institutes of Health, involved a nationally representative sample of patients – mean age 62 years –  in the End-Stage Renal Disease Clinical Performance Measures Project from 2004 to 2007.

After the patients were followed for about two years, 41% died, including 17.4% from cardiac causes.

The researchers found event rates were higher on the day after the long interdialytic interval than on other days: all-cause mortality rates were 22.1 deaths versus 18 deaths per 100 person years.

Death from cardiac arrest was higher, as was death from myocardial infarct,