Starting dialysis early ups risk of death

Washington: A new study has suggested that patients who are starting dialysis too early are at an increased risk of death.

Glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is a test that describes the flow rate of fluid going through the kidneys and is associated with early dialysis initiation.

The study looked at data of adult patients who started dialysis between 2001 and 2007.

"The consistent absence of a survival benefit with early initiation of dialysis across a variety of study designs, populations and health care delivery systems supports the conclusion that early initiation confers no survival benefit, and argues against pre-emptive initiation of dialysis in asymptomatic patients," wrote William Clark, of the London Health Sciences Centre.

"In contrast to early initiation of dialysis, early referral to a nephrologist is consistently associated with better survival," he wrote.

The authors concluded that further research into detecting the signs, symptoms and laboratory test results associated with a higher death rate and worsened quality of life in patients with kidney failure is needed.

The findings appeared in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.