Background: The annual payer costs for patients treated with peritoneal dialysis (PD) are lower than with hemodialysis (HD), but in 2007, only 7% of dialysis patients in the United States were treated with PD. Since 1996, there has been no change in the first-year mortality of HD patients, but both short- and long-term outcomes of PD patients have improved.
Methods: Data from the US Renal Data System were examined for secular trends in survival among patients treated with HD and PD on day 90 of end-stage renal disease (HD, 620 020 patients; PD, 64 406 patients) in three 3-year cohorts (1996-1998, 1999-2001, and 2002-2004) for up to 5 years of follow-up using a nonproportional hazards marginal structural model with inverse probability of treatment and censoring weighting.
Results: There was a progressive attenuation in the higher risk for death seen in patients treated with PD in earlier cohorts; for the 2002-2004 cohort, there was no significant difference in the risk of death for HD and PD patients through 5 years of follow-up. The median life expectancy of HD and PD patients was 38.4 and 36.6 months, respectively. Analyses in 8 subgroups based on age (<65 and ≥65 years), diabetic status, and baseline comorbidity (none and ≥1) showed greater improvement in survival among patients treated with PD relative to HD at all follow-up periods.
Conclusion: In the most recent cohorts, patients who began treatment with HD or PD have similar outcomes.