Background: On dialysis, survival among patients with diabetes mellitus is inferior to survival of non-diabetic patients. We hypothesized that patients with diabetes as primary renal disease have worse survival compared to patients with diabetes as a co-morbid condition and aimed to compare all-cause mortality between these patient groups.
Methods: Data were collected from the Netherlands Cooperative Study on the Adequacy of Dialysis (NECOSAD), a multicenter, prospective cohort study in which new patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) were monitored until transplantation or death. Patients with diabetes as primary cause of ESRD were compared with patients with diabetes as co-morbid condition and both of these patient groups were compared to patients without diabetes. Analysis was performed using Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression.
Results: Fifteen % of the patients had diabetic nephropathy as primary renal disease (N = 281); 6% had diabetes as co-morbid condition (N = 107) and 79% had no diabetes (N = 1465). During follow-up 42% of patients (N = 787) died. Compared to non-diabetic patients, mortality risk was increased for both patients with diabetes as primary renal disease HR: 1.9 (95% CI 1.6, 2.3) and for patients with diabetes as co-morbid condition HR: 1.7 (95% CI 1.3, 2.2). Mortality was not significantly higher in patients with diabetes as primary renal disease compared to patients with diabetes as co-morbid condition (HR 1.06; 95% CI 0.79, 1.43).
Conclusions: This study in patients with ESRD showed no survival difference between patients with diabetes as primary renal disease and patients with diabetes as a co-morbid condition. Both conditions were associated with increased mortality risk compared to non-diabetic patients.