Predialysis blood pressure and mortality risk in a national sample of maintenance hemodialysis patients

Am J Kidney Dis. 1999 Mar;33(3):507-17. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(99)70188-5.


The role of predialysis blood pressure (BP) as a risk factor for the high mortality in chronic hemodialysis (HD) patients has remained controversial. The objective of the current study was to further explore in a national random sample of 4,499 US hemodialysis patients any relationship of systolic or diastolic and predialysis or postdialysis BP with mortality, while considering subgroups of patients and controlling for other patient characteristics and comorbidities. The main finding of this study is the association of a low predialysis systolic BP with an elevated adjusted mortality risk (relative mortality risk [RR] = 1.86 for systolic BP < 110, P < 0.0001). No association with an elevated mortality risk could be observed for predialysis systolic hypertension (RR = 0.98 to 0.99, not significant [NS]), except for an elevated risk of cerebrovascular deaths. Postdialysis systolic BP was associated with an elevated mortality risk both for low and high BP levels as compared with midrange BP. Further evaluation of the elevated mortality risk associated with low predialysis systolic BP indicated similar patterns for both diabetic and nondiabetic subgroups and for patients with and without congestive heart failure (CHF) or coronary artery disease, although it was more pronounced among those with CHF. The level of predialysis fluid excess did not modify these results substantially. The findings from this historical prospective national study do not argue against the treatment of hypertension and suggest greater attention to postdialysis hypertension. The strikingly elevated mortality risk with low predialysis systolic BP suggests that low predialysis BP needs to be viewed with great concern and avoided where possible.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / complications
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Renovascular / etiology
  • Hypertension, Renovascular / physiopathology
  • Hypotension / etiology
  • Hypotension / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis / mortality*
  • Risk
  • United States / epidemiology