Increased risk of dementia in kidney patients after hemodialysis

Hemodialysis¬† renal patients faces an increased risk of later diagnosing with dementia and Alzheimer’s, according to a new American study. Research shows that kidney disease can exacerbate the decline in brain function of the elderly without being clear by which biological mechanism this happens.

The researchers, led by the adjunct professor of epidemiology, Mara MacAndams-DeMarco, of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, who published the relevant publication in the Journal of the American Society for Nephrology, analyzed data for almost 357,000 patients over 66 years of age who had hemodialysis due to end-stage renal disease.

It was found that after the onset of hemodialysis, the probability of diagnosing with dementia within the next year and within the next five years was 4.6% and 16% respectively for women, while for men 3.7% and 13%. The odds of diagnosing Alzheimer’s were 0.6% and 2.6% for women, while for men 0.4% and 2% for the following year and for the next five years, respectively.

Scientists calculated that on average over the next decade after initiation of hemodialysis the probability of diagnosis with dementia is 19% for renal patients 66 to 70 years and 28% for those 76-80 years.

Patients with dementia, according to the study, have an increased (approximately double) risk of premature death, compared with nephropathy without dementia. The risk of developing dementia is greater in women with kidney disease and those who begin dialysis at an advanced age.