Study Finds Dialysis Patients at Higher Risk of AFib

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Disability Help Group

Researchers at MedUni Vienna recently looked at the prevalence of atrial fibrillation in patients on dialysis. Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, is an often-overlooked complication of dialysis that can be a precursor for stroke. For the study, researchers conducted surveys and reviewed medical records of 626 dialysis patients.

Through this data, researchers found there is a higher prevalence of AFib in older men than any other demographic. What’s more, only half of the patients at risk for AFib or stroke have doctors who have prescribed an anticoagulant.

Before the study, published in PLOS ONE, the popular belief was a 10-15 percent rate of AFib in Viennese dialysis patients. The post-study estimates are closer to 26.5 percent, a significant difference that should factor into dialysis patient care. Researchers worry that preventative measures against strokes are not common or simple enough for dialysis patients.

Using anticoagulants might reduce stroke risk, but increases the risk for uncontrolled bleeding, which is an existing risk for dialysis patients. Additionally, other stroke prevention drugs can be difficult to obtain and some insurances will not cover them. The conclusion of the study suggests doctors use an individual approach to weigh the benefits of using stroke prevention methods with risky side effects.

Renal Disease and Cardiovascular Conditions Can Go Hand in Hand

When you have renal disease, working and earning an income can become extremely difficult, especially if you are on dialysis. The Disability Help Group can help you determine your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits and apply for applicable support. Call 800-800-2009 to schedule a consultation with our disability advocates today.