HOUSTON—Falls are associated with a higher mortality risk among patients on hemodialysis (HD), researchers at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville have found.

Rasheed A. Balogun, MD, and colleagues studied 76 HD patients with a mean age of 62.4 years and who had been on HD for a mean of 4.4 years. During an initial one-year study period, 20 patients (26.3%) fell. Subjects were followed for an additional two years, during which 22 patients (28.9%) died.

After adjusting for age, albumin, and phosphorus, patients who fell more than once were at 4.37 times higher risk of death than those who did not fall, according to data presented here at the 29th Annual Dialysis Conference. Subjects who fell once were at 18% higher risk.

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Screening for falls in the HD population should be routinely implemented, the investigators concluded.