High Blood Calcium Levels Linked to Premature Death Risk for Dialysis Patients

Posted on February 15, 2016 by Disability Help Group

For several years, Medicare conducted an End-Stage Renal Disease Quality Incentive Program, which rewards dialysis facilities in the U.S. for excellent performance in patient care. Over the course of the program’s reviews, reviewers noticed that mineral metabolism disorders were a concern among many dialysis patients. In 2016, there will be a new qualification measure added to penalize centers with too many patients showing signs of “hypercalcemia” or too much calcium in the blood.

To support the need for this new measurement, Dr. Matthew Rivera of the University of Washington in Seattle conducted a study on the risks of a high blood calcium level in dialysis patients. The Medicare threshold for high blood calcium is an average level of 10.2 milligrams per deciliter of blood over a 3-month period.

Dr. Rivera’s study, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, included 129,076 dialysis patients treated at U.S. dialysis facilities between 2001 and 2006. The study’s results correlated with Medicare’s decision to add the additional qualification measure, and also revealed more details on mineral metabolism disorders’ relation to premature death. Along with high blood calcium, low blood calcium and high phosphorus levels also increase the risk of premature death.

Researchers are now trying to determine whether or not intervention to correct blood calcium and phosphorus levels is beneficial for reducing the mortality rate in dialysis patients.

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Kidney disorders requiring dialysis that prevent a person from working and earning a substantial income may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.  Disability Help Group assists disabled claimants with disability claim appeals when their initial claim was denied. For a free no-obligation consultation, call today – 1-(800)-800-3332.