Why Are Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Who Conduct Dialysis More Likely to Die in Winter?

Many Chronic Kidney Disease patients, especially those on Dialysis are constantly warned about major health complications during the summer months such as sunburn, heat rashes, cancer from sunrays, and Cardiovascular (Heart) Complications such as strokes. Hence, there are a number of health issues that come with the summer heat and while they are not all are necessarily fatal, in many cases they are serious enough to keep Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients on the alert to avoid complications.

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However, a new study presented at the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association found that, "Mortality (Death) among Dialysis patients follows a seasonal pattern, with higher death rates during winter months," NOT summer.

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This will likely come as a surprise to many Dialysis patients, but these new findings do match previous studies that similarly reported higher Mortality Rates in Dialysis patients during winter in varying climates such as California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas when compared to spring, autumn and summer. 

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Some may speculate that they know why death rates are skewed toward winter months - Suicide. "After all, it is the dark, cold nights of winter that push people 'over the edge,' or perhaps holiday season blues," suggested Legacy.com. Yet, it turns out that this is not the case. Researchers urge Nephrologists and Dialysis patients alike to take seasonal vaccinations as well as be more attentive to Cardiovascular concerns and limit risk factors. 

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The goal here isn't to scare or alarm those on Dialysis; causing fear of an impending winter. Rather, the purpose is to empower Chronic Kidney Disease patients who conduct Dialysis to take control of their health and improve their chances of survival. What do you do to protect against seasonal health risks? We value your voice! Share your answer at the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page with the over 22,400 Friends. 

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Harish, Alon. "Top Seven Summer Health Risks." ABC News. Http://abcnews.go.com

Iskyan, Kim. "Don't Worry about Summer, Winter's the Killer Season." Slate. Http://www.slate.com

"Dialysis Patients More Likely to Die in Winter." Renal Urology News. Http://www.renalandurologynews.com

"The Mystery of the Most Fatal Week of the Year - BBC News." BBC News. Http://www.bbc.com

"Yes, It's True: More People Die in January." Legacy. Http://blog.legacy.com