Introduction: This is a prospective study of a cohort of 1011 patients maintained on regular hemodialysis (HD) in Khartoum, Sudan, studied in the year 2009 and reevaluated one year later. Their survival rates in November 2010 were related to their baseline characteristics.
Methods: Demographic and clinical data of studied patients was collected by direct patient interviews and dialysis records revision. Survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan Meier method.
Results: Patients had a median age of 45 years and a median duration on dialysis of 25 months. Two thirds of patients were males and 4.2% were children. Studied patients had a one-year survival rate of 86%. Most patients (74.8%) received twice weekly HD, and their survival rate was lower than patients receiving thrice weekly HD (85% versus 89%, P = 0.06). The strongest independent predictors of mortality were lack of a documented measure of dialysis adequacy (HR = 2.7, P = 0.00), poor functional capacity (HR = 2.4, P = 0.00), lack of a functioning AV fistula (HR = 2.0, P = 0.00), age ≥ 65 years (HR = 1.6, P = 0.02) and cardiovascular disease (HR = 1.5, P = 0.04). Patients with hemoglobin level < 10 g/dl had significantly lower survival rates (81% versus 92%, P = 0.00) compared to other patients. HD patients' perception of their own general health was also significantly correlated to their survival rates (P = 0.00).
Conclusion: Patients on thrice weekly HD did marginally better than those on twice weekly HD. In the latter group, however, having an AV fistula and a hemoglobin level of > 10 g/dl appeared to have a positive effect on their survival. Twice weekly HD could be acceptable for many patients provided other aspects of renal care are cared for adequately.