Research Article

Composition of the domestic water supply and the incidence of fractures and encephalopathy in patients on home dialysis.

Br Med J 1977; 2 doi: (Published 10 September 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;2:657
  1. M M Platts,
  2. G C Goode,
  3. J S Hislop


    Of the 202 patients undergoing home dialysis in the Trent region, 11 developed dialysis encephalopathy, 21 suffered spontaneous fractures, and 36 who had undergone dialysis for over four years had neither of these complications. Because the incidence of complications seemed to be unevenly distributed the water supplies were analysed. Water supplied to the homes of the patients with fractures or encephalopathy contained significantly less calcium and fluorine and significantly more aluminium and manganese than that piped to patients without these complications. The high aluminium concentrations in the bone of patients with encephalopathy was confirmed, but aluminium concentrations in the brains from three patients with encephalopathy were not increased. Patients who undergo dialysis in areas where water contains high aluminium concentrations should be supplied with deionisers.