This study showed that if people have a two day break in their dialysis treatment, they are much more likely to be admitted into hospital or die than if they have no break in the treatment. This was achieved by linking the UK Renal Registry with Hospital Episode Statistics. It has significant implications for how renal services are delivered in the future.

Why was this work needed?

In the UK around 3,700 people a year die while on dialysis and more than 250 people a year die while waiting for a kidney transplant. Researchers want to better understand the outcomes of dialysis so that they can make recommendations to improve this process and to ensure that patients receive the best care possible.



What happened?

This study looked at 5,864 patients who had dialysis between 2002 and 2006. By connecting their Renal Registry records with hospital data, the researchers were able to look for a link between how the treatment is delivered and what happens to that person on dialysis.

What were the benefits?

Researchers found that hospital admissions were 69 per cent higher when people had a two-day break in their dialysis. The two-day break also increased deaths by 22 per cent. Data from this study and others can now be used to design important improvements to dialysis services.

What type of data was involved?

This research involved the UK Renal Registry and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES).

The data was all de-personalised before being accessed by researchers.

Who funded and collaborated on this work?

This work was funded by Kidney Research UK and conducted at the University of Sheffield.

Where can I go for more information?

A Matter of Life and Death, p.13

The mortality and hospitalization rates associated with the long interdialytic gap in thrice-weekly hemodialysis patients

Using patient data to improve dialysis treatment in the UK