Seasonal variation in hemodialysis initiation: A single-center retrospective analysis
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The number of new dialysis patients has been increasing worldwide, particularly among elderly individuals. However, information on seasonal variation in hemodialysis initiation in recent decades is lacking, and the seasonal distribution of patients' conditions immediately prior to starting dialysis remains unclear. Having this information could help in developing a modifiable approach to improving pre-dialysis care. We retrospectively investigated the records of 297 patients who initiated hemodialysis at Hiroshima Prefectural Hospital from January 1st, 2009 to December 31st, 2013. Seasonal differences were assessed by χ2 or Kruskal-Wallis tests. Multiple comparison analysis was performed with the Steel test. The overall number of patients starting dialysis was greatest in winter (n = 85, 28.6%), followed by spring (n = 74, 24.9%), summer (n = 70, 23.6%), and autumn (n = 68, 22.9%), though the differences were not significant. However, there was a significant winter peak in dialysis initiation among patients aged ≥65 years, but not in those aged <65 years. Fluid overload assessed by clinicians was the most common uremic symptom among all patients, but a winter peak was only detected in patients aged ≥65 years. The body weight gain ratio showed a similar trend to fluid overload assessed by clinicians. Pulmonary edema was most pronounced in winter among patients aged ≥65 years compared with other seasons. The incidences of infection were modestly increased in summer and winter, but not statistically significant. Cardiac complications were similar in all seasons. This study demonstrated the existence of seasonal variation in dialysis initiation, with a winter peak among patients aged ≥65 years. The winter increment in dialysis initiation was mainly attributable to increased fluid overload. These findings suggest that elderly individuals should be monitored particularly closely during the winter.
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© 2017 Maeoka et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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