Long-term morbidity and mortality related to falls in hemodialysis patients: role of age and gender - a pilot study

Nephron Clin Pract. 2011;118(3):c278-84. doi: 10.1159/000322275. Epub 2011 Jan 7.


Background: Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) on hemodialysis (HD) are prone to falls. In this pilot study, we aimed to determine the incidence of falls in a cohort of HD patients during a 1-year period, to identify any specific risk factors that may predict falls in this cohort, and to assess whether falls can independently predict hospitalization, nursing home admissions and/or mortality over an additional 2 years.

Materials and methods: Baseline assessments followed by documentation of falls prospectively during a 1-year period were done on 76 HD patients. Patients were followed for an additional 2 years and four outcomes were recorded: all-cause death, nursing home admission, the number and duration of all hospitalizations.

Results: 20 patients (26.3%) fell over a 12-month period. Elderly and females had a higher risk of falls than the younger and male population (p = 0.034 and 0.006 respectively). During the 2-year follow-up, compared to non-fallers, fallers had a 2.13-fold increase in risk of death, a 3.5-fold increase in risk of nursing home admission, and nearly a 2-fold increase in the number and duration of hospitalizations.

Conclusions: Falls are common in HD patients, with a higher incidence in females and elderly, and are associated with worse outcomes, more so in recurrent fallers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / mortality*
  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors