Higher altitudes may help the kidneys

February 3, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
New research shows that higher altitudes may lead to healthier lives for people with kidney problems.

A study in JAMA, or the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that mortality rates for kidney patients decreased as altitudes increased.

Specifically if they started dialysis above 6,000 feet, they had a 15-percent lower death rate. That's about the altitude of Denver.

The lower mortality has to do with a higher concentration of red blood cells.