Nowadays, nephrologists are confronted with an increasing number of elderly patients diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in need of dialysis. The benefits of renal replacement therapy are uncertain in this group of patients. Most studies show that the quality of life and survival of elderly dialyzed patients are worse than in younger patients because of multiple comorbidities. Functional status is an important aspect of the quality of life, a strong predictor of survival and a determinant of the health care systems costs.
In the present research, we compare the change in the functional status--appreciated with the MDS-ADL score--in a cohort of hemodialyzed versus peritoneal dialyzed elderly patients (> 65 years) during a period of 3 years after starting dialysis treatment.
At the time of initiating dialysis, the median minimum data set of activities of daily living (MDS-ADL) score in hemodialysis (HD) elderly patients was 4.04 and in continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) group was 6.27 (the median MDS-ADL score at the moment of starting dialysis was statistically significant higher in peritoneal group than in hemodialysis elderly group).
The results conclude that elderly treated with peritoneal dialysis have a better evolution of functional status than hemodialyzed elderly patients do.