The best data on long term trends in patient and technique survival on dialysis come from North America. Mortality rates on both peritoneal (PD) and hemodialysis (HD) have fallen over the past one to two decades in both the US and Canada with the decline in the US being relatively greater in older and diabetic patients. There is some suggestion that this improvement may be proportionately greater in PD, relative to HD, patients in both the US and Canada. Overall, mortality rates on PD are similar to, or better than, those on HD in the early years of treatment, except in older US diabetic patients. In later years, patients on HD do relatively better than those on PD in the US but not in Canada. The biggest cause of mortality on dialysis is cardiovascular disease and the risk factors for this in the dialysis population generally, and particularly on PD, are reviewed, including newly appreciated ones such as hyperhomocysteinemia, high lipoprotein (a) levels and inflammation/malnutrition. Possible preventative and therapeutic strategies are also considered. Technique failure (TF) rates are high in PD but Canadian data suggest they have fallen over the past 20 years, primarily due to a reduction in cases due to peritonitis. TF rates due to inadequate dialysis have increased and an interpretation of this as well as an approach to reducing it are suggested.
Copyright 2000 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc.