HOUSTON—Hemodialysis (HD) patients aged 70 years and older do not have more frequent or longer hospitalizations than younger HD patients overall, but the older patients may have a higher hospitalization rate due to cardiovascular disease (CVD), investigators concluded.

The study, led by Antonios H. Tzamaloukas, MD, of the New Mexico VA Health Care System in Albuquerque, compared 86 patients who started HD at age 70 and older (group A; mean age 76.5 years) with 119 patients younger than age 70 when they started HD (group B; mean age 57.6 years).

The rate of patient admissions in group A was 1.6/patient/year and 1.7/patient/year in group B, a non-significant difference between groups. The two groups were similar with respect to the causes of hospitalization except that CVD-related hospitalizations were more common in group A than group B.

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The duration of hospitalizations was 15.6 and 9.3 days/patient/year for groups A and B, respectively, also a non-significant difference.Muniru Adeniyi, MD, also of the New Mexico VA Health Care System, reported study findings here at the 29th Annual Dialysis Conference.

Similar findings emerged when the investigators looked at patients with diabetes mellitus The patient admission rate in the elderly and control groups was 2.1 and 2.0, respectively, and the duration of hospitalization was 10.4 and 10.9 days/patient/year, Dr. Adeniyi said.

Among non-diabetics, the admission rate was 1.4 and 1.2 days/patient/year, respectively, and the duration of hospitalization was 19.5 and 5.3 days/patient/year. None of the differences between groups was statistically significant.