SAN DIEGO—Severe hyponatremia at the start of maintenance hemodialysis (HD) is associated with an increased risk of death, according to study findings presented at Kidney Week 2015.

The study, by Yukako Ohyama, MD, of Chubu Rosai Hospital in Nagoya, Japan, and colleagues, included 1,395 HD patients with a mean age of 68 years. The study had a mean follow-up of 15.5 months, during which 159 patients (11%) died. The prevalence of mild hyponatremia (serum sodium levels below136 mEq/L) and severe hyponatremia (serum sodium levels below 130 mEq/L) was 23% and 5%, respectively.

Patients with severe hyponatremia were 2.3 times more likely to die than those with normal serum sodium levels (136–145 mEq/L) in adjusted analyses, according to the researchers.

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“Hyponatremia at the induction of HD is an independent predictor of higher risk for mortality,” the authors concluded in their study abstract.