COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Improvement of clinical outcome by early nephrology referral in type II diabetics on hemodialysis

Chun-Liang Lin, Mai-Szu Wu, Po-Yaur Hsu, Chin-Ching Huang
Renal Failure 2003, 25 (3): 455-64
12803509

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the influence of early nephrology referral on clinical outcome in type II diabetes mellitus patients on maintenance hemodialysis dialysis.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: This study retrospectively analyzed the type II diabetic patients entering our PD program from February 1988 to June 2001. Patients who were presented to a nephrologist more than 6 months before starting dialysis were defined as early referral (ER). Patients were considered late referral (LR) if they were transferred to the nephrology department within 6 months before initial dialysis.

RESULTS: Hundred and fifteen type II diabetic patients receiving HD for at least 3 months were enrolled in this study. Sixteen of the 53 patients (46.1%) were in the ER group and 62 of the 115 (53.9%) were in the LR group. In univariate analysis by Cox proportional hazards mode, the early referral (Exp (Coef) = 0.423, p < 0.01), good glycemic control (Exp (Coef) = 0.16, p < 0.05), and age at dialysis (Exp (Coef) = 1.026, p < 0.05 (had significantly influenced the patient survival. The residual renal function in the ER group, estimated by creatinine clearance (Ccr), significantly exceeded that of the LR group (ER vs. LR: 4.46 +/- 1.56 vs. 2.51 +/- 1.70 mL/min, p < 0.001). The patients with early referral had significantly better survival (p < 0.05). Five-year survival improved significantly in the early referral group compared to the late referral group (ER: 72.4%; LR: 35.2%, p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that the time of referral before starting dialysis is a predictor of survival for type II diabetics on HD. Patients with early referral are associated with longer survival. The beneficial effect might be associated with the timely initiation of the chronic HD program. These results suggest that early referral before dialysis is important in determining the long-term prognosis in type II diabetics on HD.

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