The following article is part of conference coverage from Kidney Week 2018 in San Diego hosted by the American Society of Nephrology. Renal & Urology News staff will be reporting live on medical studies conducted by nephrologists and other specialists who are tops in their field in acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, dialysis, transplantation, and more. Check back for the latest news from Kidney Week 2018.

SAN DIEGO—Muscle relaxant use is common among patients on hemodialysis (HD) and is associated with an increased risk of altered mental status (AMS), falls, and fracture, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week 2018 conference.

Using the US Renal Data System database, Diana Mina, MD, and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, identified 140,899 adult patients receiving in-center HD in 2011. Of these, 14,312 (10%) received muscle relaxants and 24,067 (17%) had an episode of AMS, fall, or fracture in 2011.

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Muscle relaxant use was associated with a significant 68%, 29%, and 30% increased risk of AMS, fall, and fracture, respectively, Dr Mina’s team reported.

The most common diagnoses associated with muscle relaxant use were musculoskeletal pain other than neck or back pain (72), back pain (48%), and muscle spasticity (25%). In addition, 14% of patients who had a muscle relaxant prescription lacked a relevant indication for it.

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Mina D, Johansen KL, McCulloch CE, et al. Prevalence, indications, and risks of muscle relaxant use among hemodialysis patients. Presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s 2018 Kidney Week conference in San Diego, Oct. 23-28. Abstract TH-OR96.