Undergoing Frequent Dialysis does not improve the Physical Health of the Patient
Recently, several studies have come up with the suggestion that patients undergoing frequent hemodialysis live longer compared to those who undergo conventional dialysis. However, a new study published in the latest issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology suggests that frequent dialysis does not improve the patients’ physical health even though it is costlier and more time consuming.
Researchers from the University of Washington, Seattle, under the leadership of Yoshio Hall, enrolled patients from two ongoing studies for their research- the Frequent Hemodialysis Network Daily and the Nocturnal trials. The patients were randomly divided into two groups- the first group consisted of patients who underwent frequent dialysis (six times a week) while the second group had patients undertaking conventional hemodialysis (three times a week). The patients from the first group underwent hemodialysis in hospital whereas the patients who underwent conventional dialysis did so at their home while they were sleeping. The patients were followed up for a period of one year wherein changes in scores on the short physical performance battery, a 36 items physical health composite and physical functioning were noted. The researchers noticed that patients who underwent frequent dialysis did not report better physical health and functioning when compared to those who received conventional dialysis in the comfort of their homes. No significant improvement was noticed in case of objective physical performance.
The researchers have opined that increasing the frequency of dialysis is not a cost effective way to improve the physical health of the patients. End stage kidney disease affects more than 2 million people around the world and the number is steadily increasing. Instead of increasing the frequency of dialysis, physicians have to focus their energies into finding out newer innovative methods of treatment for kidney failure or end stage kidney disease.