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.
Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.