PHILADELPHIA – Among 200 patients on dialysis, extending weekly dialysis hours for 12 months did not improve quality of life, but was linked with improvements in some laboratory measures, such as potassium and phosphate blood levels, and a reduced need for blood pressure medications.

Researchers led by Meg J. Jardine from  the George Institute for Global Health in Australia randomized participants to extended (target 24 hours weekly) or standard (target 12-15 hours) dialysis hours for 12 months. The primary outcome was the difference in change in improve quality of life between baseline and 12 months assessed using EQ-5D (potential score 0-1) in the two groups. Secondary outcomes included access events and other clinical and safety outcomes.

Systolic blood pressure at study end was not different, but patients randomized to extended dialysis were receiving fewer blood pressure lowering agents. Randomization to extended hours was associated with higher hemoglobin, lower potassium and lower phosphate levels during follow-up.

There were 5 deaths in the extended arm, and 2 in the standard arm. The numbers of patients with adverse vascular access events were similar in the two arms.

Study: "Impact of Extended Weekly Hemodialysis Hours on Quality of Life and Clinical Outcomes: the ACTIVE Dialysis Multinational Trial." (Abstract HI-OR08)

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