Kidney Dialysis Increasing for Pregnant Women

News Picture: Kidney Dialysis Increasing for Pregnant Women

FRIDAY, March 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers report that more pregnant women are developing kidney failure, an apparent product of the growing prevalence of chronic kidney disease in the United States.

Even though severe kidney disease lowers the likelihood of pregnancy, nearly half of 75 kidney specialists reported in a survey that they'd treated pregnant women who were on dialysis.

"Before this survey, it had been more than 15 years since data had been collected on pregnancy outcomes for women on hemodialysis in the United States," study co-author Dr. Mala Sachdeva, of Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, said in a news release from the National Kidney Foundation.

"We wanted to provide an update by evaluating the current U.S. experience, including overall practice patterns and certain maternal and fetal outcomes that have occurred with this specific patient population," Sachdeva added.

Approximately 32 percent of the women began dialysis while they were pregnant. Most -- 58 percent -- became pregnant during the first five years of dialysis treatment. The women typically needed at least four hours of dialysis six days a week, and 10 percent became pregnant after five years of dialysis.

None of the pregnant women died, but about a quarter of pregnancies didn't result in a live baby, the survey found, and the dangerous high blood pressure condition known as preeclampsia occurred in half the cases.

"With the increasing prevalence of kidney disease, there are now more women of childbearing age living with kidney failure," Dr. Kerry Willis, chief scientific officer at the National Kidney Foundation, said in a news release. "This survey highlights that the impact of dialysis practice on maternal and fetal outcomes requires further study."

The study was presented Thursday at a National Kidney Foundation meeting in Dallas. Research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

-- Randy Dotinga

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SOURCE: National Kidney Foundation, news release, March 26, 2015