Fact Source

Among incident dialysis patients, 6.8% are unable to ambulate and 11.2% need assistance with daily activities.  

Heung M, Adamowski T, Segal JH, Malani PN. “A successful approach to fall prevention in an outpatient hemodialysis center. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 5(10): 1775-9.

A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that supplemental vitamin D in a dose of 700-
1000 IU a day reduced the risk of falling among older
individuals by 19% and to a similar degree as active forms of vitamin D. 

Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Hughers BD, Staehelin HB, et al., “Fall prevention with supplemental and active forms of vitamin D: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials,” Brit Med J (Oct 2009) 339:b3692.

Hospitalizations and mortality increased two-fold for dialysis patients who fell once during a 3-year study period and more than tripled for those who had recurrent falls. 

Balogun R, Abdel-Rahman EM. “Successful maintenance hemodialysis in nonagenarians with end-stage renal disease and pre-existing comorbidities,” J Am Soc Geriatr (Jan 2009) 57(1):174-5.

If 5% of patients fall in a three-month time period, and there are 304,799 End Stage Renal Disease patients nationwide, this results in an estimated 15,240 patient falls every three months.

Health and Safety Survey to Improve Patient Safety in End Stage Renal Disease, page 18 

40% of patients who had fallen cited weakness or dizziness as the reason for their fall. 

Health and Safety Survey to Improve Patient Safety in End Stage Renal Disease, page 8 

There is a higher hip fracture rate in Caucasian U.S. hemodialysis patients than age, sex, and race matched nonuremic patients.

A. M. Alem, D. J. Sherrard, D. L. Gillen et al., "Increased Risk of Hip Fracture Among Patients With End-Stage Renal Disease," Kidney International 58, no. 1 (2000): 396-399. 

In addition to fractures, head injuries, and lesions, falls often result in the patient becoming more cautious about future falls, leading to a reduction in physical activity. This reduction in physical activity leads to deconditioning of the patient, loss of lean tissue, and increased muscle weakness thereby increasing the likelihood of future falls. 

C. Desmet et al., "Falls in Hemodialysis Patients: Prospective Study of Incidence, Risk Factors, and Complications," American Journal of Kidney Disease 45, no. 1 (Jan 2005): 148-153. B. Brouwer, K. Musselman, E. Culham, "Physical Function and Health Status Among Seniors With and Without a Fear of Falling," Gerontology 50 no. 3 (May-Jun 2004): 135-141. E. M. Andresen et al., "Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Risk Factors for Falls, Fear of Falling, and Falls Efficacy in a Cohort of Middle-Aged African Americans," Gerontologist 26, no. 2, (April 2006): 249-257.