Program Benefits Chronic Hemodialysis Patients

RightStart Program promotes medical and educational strategies

THURSDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- An early intervention program that promotes medical and educational strategies reduces hospital stays and lowers mortality in chronic hemodialysis patients, according to a report in the November issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Rebecca L. Wingard, from Fresenius Medical Care-North America in Waltham, Mass., and colleagues compared outcomes in 918 chronic hemodialysis patients in an early intervention program (the RightStart Program) and 1,020 control patients who were not in the program.

The researchers found that patients in the early intervention program had higher levels of albumin and hematocrit and significant improvements in the Mental Composite Score. Compared with patients who were not in the program, patients in the program had fewer mean hospitalization days and lower mortality rates at 12 months.

"A structured program of prompt medical and educational strategies in incident chronic hemodialysis patients results in improved morbidity and mortality that last up to one year," the authors conclude.

This research was partially funded by Amgen, Inc. One study author is an employee of Amgen, Inc., and another is employed by NovoNordisk, Inc.

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