Background/aims: The purpose of this study was to investigate the frequency and characteristics of two hemodialysis sessions/week, to identify factors which influence or predict this prescription, and to examine the outcomes of patients receiving hemodialysis two times/week as compared to the more common treatment of three times/week.
Methods: Data from a national sample of 15,067 adult hemodialysis patients were utilized to compare twice-weekly with thrice-weekly therapy by logistic regression.
Results: Patients treated less than one year were more likely to be treated twice-weekly (6.1%) than patients on dialysis for one year or more (2.7%) (AOR = 1.49, p = 0.002). Treatment schedules also varied significantly by geographic region. Factors predictive of twice-weekly hemodialysis (p < 0.05) were older age, Caucasian race, female gender, higher serum albumin, lower serum creatinine levels, and lower body mass index. A higher estimated renal function at the start of ESRD was also predictive of a twice-weekly schedule among incident patients (AOR = 1.05, p = 0.05). In addition, Cox-adjusted survival analysis indicated a lower mortality risk (RR = 0.76, p = 0. 02) for twice-weekly hemodialysis compared to thrice-weekly among prevalent patients. For incident patients, however, the results were not significant when adjusted for GFR at ESRD onset (RR = 0.85, p = 0.31).
Conclusion: Geographic differences in prescribed treatment remained unexplained by measured characteristics. The survival advantage associated with twice-weekly hemodialysis is likely to be related to patient selection and greater residual renal function.
Copyright 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel