Background: Mortality and morbidity rates are higher in patients receiving haemodialysis therapy than in the general population. Detection of risk factors related to early death in these patients could be of aid for clinical and administrative decision making. Objectives. The aims of this study were (1) to identify risk factors (comorbidity and variables specific to haemodialysis) associated with death in the first year following the start of haemodialysis and (2) to design and validate a prognostic model to quantify the probability of death for each patient.
Methods: An analysis was carried out on all patients starting haemodialysis treatment in Catalonia during the period 1997-2003 (n = 5738). The data source was the Renal Registry of Catalonia, a mandatory population registry. Patients were randomly divided into two samples: 60% (n = 3455) of the total were used to develop the prognostic model and the remaining 40% (n = 2283) to validate the model. Logistic regression analysis was used to construct the model.
Results: One-year mortality in the total study population was 16.5%. The predictive model included the following variables: age, sex, primary renal disease, grade of functional autonomy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, malignant processes, chronic liver disease, cardiovascular disease, initial vascular access and malnutrition. The analyses showed adequate calibration for both the sample to develop the model and the validation sample (Hosmer-Lemeshow statistic 0.97 and P = 0.49, respectively) as well as adequate discrimination (ROC curve 0.78 in both cases).
Conclusions: Risk factors implicated in mortality at one year following the start of haemodialysis have been determined and a prognostic model designed. The validated, easy-to-apply model quantifies individual patient risk attributable to various factors, some of them amenable to correction by directed interventions.