American Journal of Kidney Diseases

Predictors of Health Deterioration Among Older Adults After 12 Months of Dialysis Therapy: A Longitudinal Cohort Study From New Zealand

Published:August 17, 2017DOI:


      Involving patients in dialysis decision making is crucial, yet little is known about patient-reported experiences and patient-reported outcomes of dialysis.

      Study Design

      A prospective longitudinal cohort study of older patients receiving long-term dialysis. Predictors of worse health status were assessed using modified Poisson regression analysis.

      Setting & Participants

      150 New Zealanders 65 years or older with end-stage kidney disease dialyzing at 1 of 3 nephrology centers.


      Patient-reported social and health characteristics based on the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey, EQ-5D, and Kidney Symptom Score questionnaires and clinical information from health records.


      Health status after 12 months of follow-up.


      35% of study participants had reported worse health or had died at 12 months. Baseline variables independently associated with reduced risk for worse health status were Pacific ethnicity (relative risk [RR], 0.63; 95% CI, 0.53-0.72), greater bother on the Kidney Symptom Score (RR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.62-0.97), and dialyzing at home with either home hemodialysis (RR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.36-0.83) or peritoneal dialysis (RR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.79-0.93). Baseline variables independently associated with increased risk were greater social dissatisfaction (RR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.27-2.17), lower sense of community (RR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.09-2.64), comorbid conditions (RR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.09-2.64), EQ-5D anxiety/depression (RR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.07-2.42); poor/fair overall general health (RR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.37-1.85), and longer time on dialysis therapy (RR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.00-1.05).


      Small sample size restricted study power.


      Most older dialyzing patients studied reported same/better health 12 months later. Home-based dialysis, regardless of whether hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, was associated with reduced risk for worse health, and older Pacific People reported better outcomes on dialysis therapy. Social and/or clinical interventions aimed at improving social satisfaction, sense of community, and reducing anxiety/depression may favorably affect the experiences of older patients receiving long-term dialysis.

      Index Words

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