Daily hemodialysis (HD) is associated with a higher mortality risk than conventional HD, according to a new study.

Using propensity-score-based matching, Rita S. Suri, MD, of the University of Western Ontario in London, and colleagues compared 318 patients who received daily HD (more than five times per week) with 575 patients in the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study who received conventional HD (three times per week).

During 1,382 patient-years of follow-up, 170 patients died. The mortality rate was 15.6 deaths per 100 patient-years in the daily HD group compared with 10.9 deaths per 100 patient-years, a significant difference that translated into a 60% increased risk of death associated with daily HD, the researchers reported online ahead of print in Kidney International.

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The mean HD frequency in the daily group was 5.8 sessions per week. The mean weekly treatment time was 15.7 hours for the daily group compared with 11.9 hours for the conventional group.

Dr. Suri’s team concluded that decisions to undertake daily HD should be based on quality-of-life improvements rather than on claims of improved survival.