Background: The mean age of starting hemodialysis (HD) in patients with end-stage renal failure is gradually increasing in Japan. It is not uncommon for HD to be commenced in bedridden elderly patients who cannot give informed consent, because of brain damage. However, we have not been able to provide useful advice to their families because there was no relevant information available about the prognosis of bedridden patients on HD. Therefore, we examined the prognosis of bedridden HD patients.
Methods: Two hundred and nineteen patients who received HD were enrolled. These subjects were divided into five groups; (aged <50, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79, and >or=80 years at the commencement of HD), and we compared the overall prognosis between bedridden and nonbedridden patients, as well as that for each age group.
Results: There were 76 bedridden patients among the 219 HD patients, and the main cause of their bedridden state before starting HD was cerebrovascular disease. The 50% survival time after the start of HD was 120 months for the nonbedridden patients versus 56 months for bedridden patients. However, the mean (+/-SD) age of the bedridden patients was higher than that of nonbedridden patients (70 +/- 13 versus 64 +/- 14 years). In patients under age 50 years at the start of dialysis, the survival rate was lower in the bedridden than in the nonbedridden patients, but there were no differences between survival rates for bedridden and nonbedridden patients in the other four age groups.
Conclusions: The prognosis of HD patients is poor compared with the general life expectancy of the Japanese population, but whether these patients are bedridden or not has little influence on their survival.