Background: The number of elderly patients starting dialysis is increasing in developed countries. Older age is frequently associated with contraindication of peritoneal dialysis (PD). The aim of this study was to report the outcome of elderly patients on PD in a country where assisted PD is available.
Methods: This was a retrospective study based on the data of the French Language Peritoneal Dialysis Registry (RDPLF). We retrospectively analysed 1613 patients older than 75 years who started PD between January 2000 and December 2005. The end of the observation period was 31 December 2007.
Results: The mean age at dialysis initiation was 81.9 years; 545 patients had a Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) >9. Of these 1613 patients, 1435 were treated by continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) and 1232 were on assisted PD. The median patient survival was 27.1 months. In the multivariate analysis, patient survival was associated with sex, age, modified CCI, method of assistance and underlying nephropathy. The median pure technique survival was 21.4 months. In the Cox model, technique survival was associated with the modified CCI, but the association did not remain significant after adjustment for the centre size. The median survival free of peritonitis was 32.1 months. Neither the modality of assistance nor the centre size was associated with peritonitis risk.
Conclusion: PD is a suitable method for elderly patients. In order to increase the rate of PD utilization in elderly patients, the need for the funding of assisted peritoneal dialysis has to be taken into account.