BOSTON—High temperatures and heavy rains may cause patients with end-stage-renal disease (ESRD) to miss in-center hemodialysis (HD) sessions, according to new study findings presented at the National Kidney Foundation’s 2016 Spring Clinical Meetings.

Previous research had shown that cold weather is associated with non-adherence to in-center dialysis schedules, but the new study is the first to demonstrate that moderately high temperature is a barrier as well.

In a study of 158,994 in-center HD patients receiving care at Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) from June to July 2014, John Larkin, MD, FMCNA’s Director of Publications and Research, and colleagues found that the rate of non-adherence to HD treatments increased most notably at temperatures above 82.4° F (28° C) and precipitation levels above 200 mm (8 inches) per 24 hours.

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“The importance of the findings of our study is that geographical location matters when considering the causes of patient non-adherence to hemodialysis,” Larkin said in press release. “In this case, we have demonstrated that higher temperatures and very high levels of precipitation in differing geographies are associated to increasing rates of patient non-adherence to hemodialysis during the summer.”

Efforts to decrease patient non-adherence of HD should take these observations into consideration, the investigators concluded.

For the study, the researchers used concurrent 2014 weather data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information database.