(HealthDay News) — Researchers report that more pregnant women are developing kidney failure, an apparent product of the growing prevalence of chronic kidney disease in the United States. The study was presented at a National Kidney Foundation meeting in Dallas.

Even though severe kidney disease lowers the likelihood of pregnancy, nearly half of 75 nephrologists reported in a survey that they’d treated pregnant women who were on dialysis. “Before this survey, it had been more than 15 years since data had been collected on pregnancy outcomes for women on hemodialysis in the United States,” study coauthor Mala Sachdeva, M.D., of the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine in Hempstead, N.Y., said in a news release from the National Kidney Foundation. “We wanted to provide an update by evaluating the current U.S. experience, including overall practice patterns and certain maternal and fetal outcomes that have occurred with this specific patient population,” Sachdeva added.

Approximately 32% of the women began dialysis while they were pregnant. Most — 58% — became pregnant during the first 5 years of dialysis treatment. The women typically needed at least 4 hours of dialysis 6 days a week, and 10% became pregnant after 5 years of dialysis. None of the pregnant women died, but about a quarter of pregnancies didn’t result in a live baby, the researchers found, and preeclampsia occurred in half the cases.

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“With the increasing prevalence of kidney disease, there are now more women of childbearing age living with kidney failure,” Kerry Willis, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at the National Kidney Foundation, said in the news release. “This survey highlights that the impact of dialysis practice on maternal and fetal outcomes requires further study.”


  1. National Kidney Foundation News Release, March 26, 2015.