Optimal timing of initiation of chronic hemodialysis?

Barbara Wilson, Lori Harwood, Heather Locking-Cusolito, Salina J Chen, Paul Heidenheim, Don Craik, William F Clark
Hemodialysis International 2007, 11 (2): 263-9
Despite the availability of clinical guidelines for the timing of dialysis initiation in both the United States and Canada, patients continue to start dialysis at very low levels of predicted glomerular filtration rate (GFR). A cross-sectional study was performed to determine the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients who started hemodialysis, their level of GFR, and mortality at 1 and 2 years following the initiation of dialysis. Retrospective data were collected on all eligible patients who commenced chronic hemodialysis in 1 tertiary care center in Canada from March 2001 to February 2005. Only those patients who had been followed by a nephrologist in the chronic kidney disease clinic before dialysis initiation were included (n=271). Seventeen percent of patients started hemodialysis late (GFR<5 mL/min/1.73 m(2)). Compared with the group of patients who started dialysis earlier, the late start group were significantly younger (p=0.008), had more females (p=0.013), more employed (p=0.051), less cardiac (p<0.001), and peripheral vascular disease (p=0.031), and were taking medication for hypertension (p=0.041). Serum albumin was lower in the late start group (p=0.023). At year 1, there was no difference in mortality rate while at year 2, the earlier the dialysis, the greater the mortality rate (p=0.022). After adjustment for demographic variables and comorbidities, only antihypertensive use had an independent but weak association with the 2 year mortality. Adjustment for all these variables eliminated the significant association noted for the 2 year mortality in the early versus late dialysis start. The survival benefit for late versus early dialysis start appears to be multifactorial and relates to a preponderance of clinical and demographic factors favoring a lengthened survival occurring in the late dialysis group. Our survival benefit findings suggest the premorbid health condition is a more important determinant of 2 year survival than the timing of dialysis initiation.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"