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Nocturnal Hemodialysis Improves Cardiac Health

Dialyzing six nights per week associated with improvements in left ventricular mass and blood pressure

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Dialysis patients randomized to receive hemodialysis six nights a week experienced improvements in left ventricular mass, blood pressure and select measures of quality of life compared to those undergoing conventional hemodialysis, researchers report in the Sept. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Bruce F. Culleton, M.D., of the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and colleagues randomized 52 hemodialysis patients to receive either nocturnal hemodialysis six times weekly or conventional hemodialysis three times weekly, and measured subsequent left ventricular mass (using magnetic resonance imaging), patient-reported quality of life, blood pressure, mineral metabolism and use of medications.

After the six-month study period, researchers found that nocturnal hemodialysis was associated with a significant decrease in left ventricular mass, improvements in blood pressure and mineral metabolism, and a reduction in or discontinuation of antihypertensive medications compared to the conventional hemodialysis group. In addition, individuals undergoing nocturnal hemodialysis reported improvements in select quality of life measures. There was no significant difference in adverse events between the two groups.

This study "is important for nephrology, clearly demonstrating reduced left ventricular hypertrophy with nocturnal hemodialysis," according to an editorial. This data "suggests that nocturnal hemodialysis may help improve the high morbidity and mortality of North American dialysis patients."

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