The success story of peritoneal dialysis in Romania: analysis of differences in mortality by dialysis modality and influence of risk factors in a national cohort

Gabriel Mircescu, Liliana Garneata, Laura Florea, Vasile Cepoi, Dimitrie Capsa, Maria Covic, Mirela Gherman-Caprioara, Gheorghe Gluhovschi, Ovidiu Sorin Golea, Carmen Barbulescu, Elvira Rus, Caterina Santimbrean, Nicoleta Mardare, Adrian Covic
Peritoneal Dialysis International 2006, 26 (2): 266-75

BACKGROUND: This report describes the status of renal replacement therapy (RRT), particularly continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), in Romania (a country with previously limited facilities), outlines the fast development rate of CAPD, and presents national changes in a European context.

METHODS: Trends in the development of RRT were analyzed in 2003 on a national basis using annual center questionnaires from 1995 to 2003. Survival data and prognostic risk factors were calculated retrospectively from a representative sample of 2284 patients starting RRT between 1 January 1995 and 31 December 2001 (44% of the total RRT population investigated).

RESULTS: The annual rate of increase in the number of RRT patients (11%) was supported mainly by an exponential development of the CAPD population (+600%); the hemodialysis (HD) growth rate was stable (+33%) and renal transplantation had a marginal contribution. The characteristics of both HD and PD incident patients changed according to current European epidemiology (increasing age and prevalence of diabetes and nephroangiosclerosis). There were significant differences between PD and HD incident populations, PD patients being significantly older and having a higher prevalence of diabetic nephropathy and baseline comorbidities, probably reflecting different inclusion policies. The estimated overall survival of RRT patients in Romania was 90.6% at 1 year [confidence interval (CI) 89.4 - 91.8] and 62.2% at 5 years (CI 59.4 - 65.0). The initial treatment modality did not significantly influence patients' survival. There was no difference in unadjusted technique survival during the first 2 years; afterwards, there was a clear advantage for HD, with more patients being transferred from PD to HD. Several factors seemed to significantly and negatively influence PD patients' survival (Cox regression analysis): male gender, lack of predialysis erythropoietin treatment, and initial comorbidities. Stratified analysis to discover the influence of these factors on patients' survival revealed that HD was associated with an increased risk of death in the younger nondiabetic end-stage renal disease population, regardless of other coexisting comorbid conditions. However, in older patients (>65 years) and in diabetics, regardless of the presence or absence of associated comorbid conditions, there was no significant difference in death rates between HD and PD patients.

CONCLUSIONS: We report an impressive quantitative and qualitative development of CAPD in one of the rapidly growing Central and Eastern Europe countries. CAPD should be the method of choice for young nondiabetic end-stage renal disease patients. Improvement in predialysis nephrologic care and in transplantation rates is required to further ensure the ultimate success of the Romanian PD program.

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