Objective: Dialysis patients frequently report a change of taste that is reversible after renal transplantation, suggesting that uremic toxins may negatively influence taste. Currently, frequent nocturnal home hemodialysis (NHHD) is the most effective method of hemodialysis, and is associated with the lowest levels of uremic toxins. We studied preferences for various foods as an indicator of taste perception. We questioned whether food preference differs between NHHD patients and those on conventional hemodialysis.
Design and Patients: In this transverse, cross-sectional pilot study, we assessed food preference by means of a questionnaire for patients on NHHD (n=6; 8 hours of dialysis per night, for 5 or 6 nights a week) and 3 age-matched and sex-matched control groups: chronic home hemodialysis patients (HHD; n=9; 4 to 5 hours of dialysis per day, 3 days a week), chronic in-center hemodialysis patients (CHD; n=18; 4 to 5 hours of dialysis per day, 3 days a week), and healthy control subjects (HC; n=23).
Results: Mean scores for food preference did not differ between groups (P=.32). Similarly, the preference for product groups did not differ between groups. On an individual product level, we found only minor differences. The NHHD patients had a preference for savory snacks, as did the HC and CHD groups, whereas the HHD group had a preference for sweet snacks (P <.05). Hemodialysis patients reported dry mouth more often than did the HC patients (P <.05).
Conclusions: Frequent NHHD has no major impact on food preference. The change in taste reported by NHHD patients is not related to their particular food preferences. (C) 2010 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.