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Hemodialysis study results published

The most comprehensive, randomized clinical trial of hemodialysis therapy to-date has confirmed the adequacy of current dosage guidelines. The researchers also found that using high-flux filters to remove larger waste molecules from the blood does not help patients live longer. Results appear in the Dec. 19 New England Journal of Medicine.

Patients in the Hemodialysis (HEMO) Study who received a dialysis dose higher than that recommended by National Kidney Foundation guidelines or who used high-flux filters neither lived substantially longer nor stayed out of the hospital more than those who received the currently recommended standard dose or used low-flux filters. The study was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

"This will be welcome news to the hundreds of thousands of people who are on dialysis in the United States, since our findings support the Foundation's current practice guidelines," said Garabed Eknoyan, M.D., study chair and professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "It is reassuring that the dose now recommended is adequate."

The HEMO Study evaluated the prevailing theory that a higher dose of dialysis or high-flux filters improve survival and reduce hospitalizations. Doctors at 15 medical centers recruited more than 1,800 hemodialysis patients and randomly assigned them to high or standard dialysis doses and high- or low-flux filters. Duration of survival was the major outcome studied, but hospitalizations, nutritional status and quality of life were also examined.

While survival and hospitalizations were not substantially different among study groups, there were intriguing, though not definitive, findings for certain patients. The high dose appeared to reduce the risk of death and hospitalization among women, regardless of race and body size, and high-flux filters appeared to reduce the risk of death
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Contact: Mary Harris
mary_harris@nih.gov
301-496-3583
NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
18-Dec-2002


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