Effect of the hemodialysis prescription of patient morbidity: report from the National Cooperative Dialysis Study

N Engl J Med. 1981 Nov 12;305(20):1176-81. doi: 10.1056/NEJM198111123052003.


This report summarizes morbidity in 151 patients in a cooperative trial designed to evaluate the clinical effects of different dialysis prescriptions. Four treatment groups were divided along two dimensions: dialysis treatment time (long or short), and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) concentration averaged with respect to time (TACurea) (high or low). Dietary protein was not restricted. There was no difference in mortality between the groups. Withdrawal of patients from the high-BUN groups for medical reasons was significantly greater than withdrawal from the low-BUN groups. Hospitalization was also greater in the high-BUN groups, but dialysis treatment time had no significant effects. The data indicate that the occurrence of morbid events is affected by the dialysis prescription. Increased morbidity appears to accompany prescriptions associated with a relatively high BUN. Conversely, morbidity may be decreased by prescriptions associated with more efficient removal of urea if the dietary intake of protein and other nutrients is adequate.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Random Allocation
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Risk
  • Time Factors
  • Uremia / complications*


  • Dietary Proteins
  • Creatinine