Background: The effects of anti-hypertensive drugs on survival have not been examined in a large cohort of hemodialysis (HD) patients. Methods: We examined the relationship between blood pressure, anti-hypertensive drug therapy, and survival using the nationwide HD registry of the Japanese Society for Dialysis Therapy. Outcomes were confirmed using the coded ID numbers of the 2005 and 2006 registries. Logistic analyses were performed to determine the effect of anti-hypertensive drug therapy on survival. Results: A total of 163,668 patients (50.6% men; 31.5% with diabetes mellitus; mean age 63.6 years) on HD 3 times a week in 2005 were studied. Mean (SD) levels of systolic and diastolic blood pressure were 153.4 (24.1) and 78.7 (13.7) mm Hg, respectively, before the HD session. Two-thirds of the HD patients were prescribed anti-hypertensive drugs and the numbers of anti-hypertensive medications were: 1 in 26.8%, 2 in 24.4%, and 3 or more in 14.5% of the total patients. The 1-year mortality rate was 6.6% overall: 8.5% in patients not prescribed anti-hypertensive drugs and 5.6% among those prescribed anti-hypertensive drugs. The odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for the 1-year mortality rate was 0.724 (0.681-0.770, p < 0.0001) for patients prescribed anti-hypertensive drugs, after adjusting for age, sex, diabetes mellitus, body mass index, HD duration, serum albumin, and systolic blood pressure. Conclusion: Survival was better in patients prescribed anti-hypertensive drugs, particularly renin-angiotensin system inhibitors, than in those not prescribed anti-hypertensive drugs. The causality on this association remained to be determined and prospective studies on blood pressure target levels and the effects of anti-hypertensive drug class in HD patients are warranted.
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