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Research Shows Less Chance of Hospitalization with Conservative Management

Research Shows Less Chance of Hospitalization with Conservative Management

Researchers find fewer hospitalizations in advanced CKD patients who use conservative management versus dialysis.

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Whenever a person nears end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), their healthcare team will start to discuss different treatment options. Dialysis and transplant are commonly discussed, but there is another, less-utilized option called conservative management (CM). CM focuses on medically managing the symptoms of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and preserving kidney function. 

During the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Kidney Week 2022, researchers presented findings that compared hospitalizations in CM and dialysis patients. Read more about what the researchers did, what they found, and what it means.* 

What they did

Professor of public health Connie Rhee, M.D., along with her colleagues at the University of California at Irvine, gathered and analyzed data concerning 309,188 patients hospitalized between January 2007 and June 2020. They applied the term CM to patients who did not receive dialysis within two years of their estimated glomerular filtration rate (percentage of remaining kidney function) dropping below 25.

What they found

After analyzing the data, the researchers found that 55% of advanced CKD patients had at least one hospitalization within two years, though CM patients were less likely to be hospitalized. 

The most common causes of hospitalization for both groups were:

  • Congestive heart failure, 
  • Respiratory illness and/or 
  • High blood pressure-related issues. 

What it means

Advanced CKD patients face hospitalizations due to complications of their condition, and finding ways to decrease hospitalizations may help improve their quality of life. 

“We observed differential relationships between CM vs. dialysis on hospitalization rates across race/ethnicity and age,” Rhee and colleagues concluded. “Further research is needed to determine which patients are optimal candidates for CM vs. dialysis using a personalized approach.”

Speak openly with your healthcare team to determine the best course of action for you.


*Neumann, M. (2022, December 5). Hospitalizations lower for patients with advanced CKD who choose conservative management. Healio. Retrieved May 30, 2023, from

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