Dialysis therapy among elderly patients; data from the Canadian Organ Replacement Register, 1981-1991.Adv Perit Dial. 1993; 9:124-9.AP
Reports of clinical outcomes after commencement of dialysis treatment among elderly patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are not been numerous. This paper describes the demographic and clinical characteristics of the elderly treated for ESRD in Canada using the Canadian Organ Replacement Register data. Comparisons with younger age groups are also presented. Analyses of data for the period 1981-1991 indicated that the elderly (65+) represent an expanding portion of all new ESRD patients in Canada. Distributions of dialysis modalities showed no major differences by age groups (45-54, 55-64, 65-75, 75+). However, the overall usage of intermittent peritoneal dialysis has decreased over time (from 17% of patients in 1981-83 to 7% in 1990-91). Deaths from social causes were slightly more frequent among the elderly (15.9% of all deaths among those aged 65+ vs 10% among those aged 45-64). Moreover, deaths from infections were more common among patients on dialysis for a longer period of time and more common among patients on peritoneal dialysis than among those on hemodialysis. Discontinuations of continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) because of the inability to cope increased with age. Patients with comorbid conditions were more likely to receive hemodialysis, and, as expected, the presence of these conditions increased with age and significantly reduced survival. Other determinants of survival included calendar period of registration, renal center size, and treatment modality. This paper illustrates the many changes over time in the elderly population treated for ESRD. Also of importance, however, is the elderly Canadian population with ESRD which is not presently treated.