Women Less Likely to Get Kidney Dialysis Than Men, Study Finds

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TUESDAY, Oct. 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- New research finds that women aren't treated with dialysis as often as men when they have end-stage kidney disease, and the gap seems to have little to do with biological differences between the genders.

The study, led by Dr. Manfred Hecking from Arbor Research Collaborative for Health in Ann Arbor, Mich., examined the use of hemodialysis -- a process in which the blood is purified -- in more than 200,000 adults in 12 countries.

While men and women survived at about the same rate, 59 percent of men were on dialysis while only 41 percent of women were. Men were also more likely to get kidney transplants, the investigators reported in the October edition of PLOS Medicine.

It's not clear why the gap exists, the researchers said in a journal news release. Factors may include differences in patient care and awareness of kidney disease, they suggested.

"The finding that fewer women than men were being treated with dialysis for end-stage renal [kidney] disease merits detailed further study, as the large discrepancies in sex-specific hemodialysis prevalence by country and age group are likely explained by factors beyond biology," Hecking and colleagues concluded in the report.

More information

For more about dialysis, visit the National Kidney Foundation.