Just as some patients get more oxygen for some conditions, researchers are finding that low oxygen may be beneficial to some patients with end stage renal disease, which is when the kidneys are functioning at less than 10% and the patient on dialysis unless they can get a kidney transplant. Now a team of researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital has found that the altitude in which patients live could affect how long they live.
Wolfgang C. Winkelmayer, M.D. of Brigham & Women's Hospital, says, "Kidney disease patients who started dialysis at high altitudes, that is above 6000 feet above sea level, had a 15% lower mortality rate compared to very similar patients who started dialysis at or approximately at sea level."
The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that, for patients with end-stage renal disease, living higher up might just mean living longer.