The Earlier the Better

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People with end-stage kidney disease who receive dialysis in the morning may survive longer than those who receive the same treatment at other times of the day, according to researchers from Emory University.

The researchers, publishing their results in the December 5, 2001, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, speculate that longer survival could be a result of the positive effects of sleep or the fact that the body’s biochemical clearance is more efficient in the morning.

Donald L. Bliwise, PhD, and colleagues followed up for 11 years with 242 people, aged 60 or older, from 58 dialysis centers in Georgia. All had end-stage renal disease and underwent regular dialysis in 1988. Researchers interviewed the subjects in 1988 and 1991 and then tracked the death rate until July 1999.

People who received dialysis in the morning survived an average of 941 days. Those who received treatment in the afternoon survived an average of 470 days.

These results “may warrant” further studies that would test dialysis administered at different times during the day, the researchers conclude.

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