Height May Impact Risk of Premature Death for Dialysis Patients

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Height, Risk of Premature Death
Height, Risk of Premature Death

(HealthDay News) — Tall stature may be linked with an increased risk for premature death in kidney failure patients on dialysis, according to a study published online October 1 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The researchers analyzed data from just over one million Americans who began dialysis between 1995–2008 and were followed for up to five years.

The researchers found that being tall was associated with increased risk of premature death among dialysis patients who were American Indian/Alaska natives, Asians, and whites, but this was not the case among black patients in the study. Tall black dialysis patients' risk of premature death was the same as in the general population. In addition, the risk was higher in men than in women, and among patients with shorter dialysis treatment times. The higher risk of premature death among tall dialysis patients was not explained by the presence of other illnesses, differences in care, or by socioeconomic status.

"Dialysis patients have extremely high premature death rates that are between 10- and 100-fold higher than in the general population, and height exerts an important quantifiable effect on dialysis patient survival," study author Austin Stack, MD, of the Graduate Entry Medical School at the University of Limerick in Ireland, said in a journal news release. "It is an easily measured physical trait and our study shows that it is an important prognostic marker for survival."

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