Starting dialysis treatment early to arrest the progression of chronic kidney disease was found to be of no benefit to patients with CKD, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Department of Renal Medicine of NSW.

The study published Tuesday in The New England Journal of Medicine was the first to examine results of early blood filtering for CKD patients, a worldwide trend. The study done from 2000 to 2008 covered 852 men and women with an average age of 60 and suffering from progressive CKD, including 355 with diabetes.

The patients came from more than 30 treatment centres in Australia and New Zealand were divided into two groups, one starting dialysis treatment about 1.8 months earlier and the other group waiting for an average seven months before undergoing dialysis.

Results of the study indicated no significant difference between the groups in the frequency of adverse events such as death or complications. Based on the study, 152 of 404 patients in the early-start group (37.6%) and 155 of 424 in the late-start group (36.6%) died.

Dr. Bruce Cooper, a senior lecturer at the Sydney Medical School and the acting head of the Department of Renal Medicine at Royal North Shore Hospital, was the lead author of the study.

Cooper said the moratlity rate for CKD patients and the number of cases of the disease is increasing in the last few years.