Impact of initial dialysis modality on mortality: a propensity-matched study

Bård Waldum-Grevbo, Torbjørn Leivestad, Anna V Reisæter, Ingrid Os
BMC Nephrology 2015, 16: 179

BACKGROUND: Whether the choice of dialysis modality in patients with end stage renal disease may impact mortality is undecided. No randomized controlled trial has properly addressed this issue. Propensity-matched observational studies could give important insight into the independent effect of peritoneal (PD) opposed to haemodialysis (HD) on all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.

METHODS: To correct for case-mix differences between patients treated with PD and HD, propensity-matched analyses were utilized in all patients who initiated dialysis as first renal replacement therapy in Norway in the period 2005-2012. PD patients were matched in a 1:1 fashion with HD patients, creating 692 pairs of patients with comparable baseline variables. As-treated and intention-to treat analyses were undertaken to assess cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Interaction analyses were used to assess differences in the relationship between initial dialysis modality and mortality, between strata of age, gender and prevalent diabetes mellitus.

RESULTS: In the as-treated analyses, initial dialysis modality did not impact 2-year (PD vs. HD: HR 0.87, 95 % CI 0.67-1.12) or 5-year all-cause mortality (HR 0.95, 95 % CI 0.77-1.17). In patients younger than 65 years, PD was superior compared to HD with regard to both 2-year (HR 0.39, 95 % CI 0.19-0.81), and 5-year all-cause mortality (HR 0.49, 95 % CI 0.27-0.89). Cardiovascular mortality was also lower in the younger patients treated with PD (5-year HR 0.38, 95 % CI 0.15-0.96). PD was not associated with impaired prognosis in any of the prespecified subgroups compared to HD. The results were similar in the as-treated and intention-to-treat analyses.

CONCLUSION: Survival in PD was not inferior to HD in any subgroup of patients even after five years of follow-up. In patients below 65 years, PD yielded superior survival rates compared to HD. Increased use of PD as initial dialysis modality in ESRD patients could be encouraged.

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