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Survival of chronic hemodialysis patients over 80 years of age

Authors Sladoje-Martinovic B, Mikolasevic I, Bubic I, Racki S, Orlic L

Received 10 December 2013

Accepted for publication 17 January 2014

Published 16 April 2014 Volume 2014:9 Pages 689—696


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Branka Sladoje-Martinovic, Ivana Mikolasevic, Ivan Bubic, Sanjin Racki, Lidija Orlic

Department of Nephrology and Dialysis, Division of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Center Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia

Background/aim: The number of elderly patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 5 management with hemodialysis (HD) is steadily increasing. Therefore we analyzed the number of new CKD patients ≥80 years managed with HD and their survival through the study period. We aimed also, to identify which of several key variables might be independently associated with survival in this very elderly population of patients.
Patients and methods: This was a single-center, retrospective cohort study that took place during the period from January 1987 to September 2012. The study consisted of 78 (50 male and 28 women) very elderly patients (≥80 years of age); the mean age at which HD was initiated was 83.2±2.5 years. Survival and factors associated with mortality were studied. Survival was defined as the time from start of HD treatment to death (or end of study, if still alive).
Results: In the period from 1987 to 2002, patients ≥80 years of age were only sporadically treated with HD, but since 2003, the number of new patients has been steadily increasing. The mean survival for our group of patients was 25.1±22.4 months (range 1–115 months). Furthermore, 30.8% patients survived <12 months, 29.5% patients survived 12–24 months, 30.8% patients survived 24–60 months, and 9% patients survived >60 months on HD treatment. Older patients were less likely to have diabetes, and primary renal disease did not influence survival. Patients with high C-reactive protein levels and poor nutritional status, as well as those who did not have pre-HD nephrology care and those that had a catheter as vascular access for HD had poor survival. In about half of our patients, the cause of death was cardiovascular disease.
Conclusion: Among patients who were ≥80 years of age at the start of HD treatment, those who received pre-HD nephrology care that followed a planned management pathway, those who had a good nutritional status, and those with an arteriovenous fistula as vascular access for HD at the time of HD initiation had a better survival.

Keywords: chronic kidney disease, elderly patients, pre-HD nephrology care, nutritional status, arteriovenous fistula

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