Changes in Quality of Life in Older Hemodialysis Patients: A Cohort Study on Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns

Am J Nephrol. 2020;51(8):650-658. doi: 10.1159/000509309. Epub 2020 Jul 31.


Background: Despite improvements in dialysis treatment, mortality rates remain high, especially among older hemodialysis patients. Quality of life (QOL) among hemodialysis patients is strongly associated with higher risk of death. This study aimed to describe the health-related QOL and its change in older maintenance hemodialysis patients and to demonstrate characteristics associated with health-related QOL.

Methods: Data on 892 maintenance hemodialysis patients aged 60 years or older who were surveyed using the Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form at baseline and 2 years after study enrollment in phases 4 (2009-2011) and 5 (2012-2014) of the Japanese Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study were analyzed. We categorized participants into 3 age groups (60-69, 70-79, and ≥80 years) and described baseline physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) scores, as well as their distribution of changes after 2 years across each category.

Results: Hemodialysis patients aged 70-79 years and ≥80 years had lower PCS scores than those aged 60-69 years (median: 70-79 years = 43.1; interquartile range [IQR], 35.2-49.4; ≥80 years = 38.8; IQR, 31.6-43.8; 60-69 years = 45.4; IQR, 37.5-51.4; p < 0.001). In contrast, MCS scores did not significantly differ by age category (70-79 years = 45.6; IQR, 38.4-53.7; ≥80 years = 45.4; IQR, 36.9-55.1; 60-69 years = 46.8; IQR, 39.5-55.7; p = 0.1). As dialysis vintage lengthened, the PCS score significantly became lower, whereas no association was found with change in the MCS score. The MCS score declined over time in older patients, especially among those aged 80 years and older after 2 years' follow-up.

Conclusions: Physical QOL became worse as dialysis vintage lengthened. In contrast, mental QOL declined over time within a relatively short period among older maintenance hemodialysis patients.

Keywords: Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study; Hemodialysis; Quality of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / psychology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Renal Dialysis / psychology
  • Renal Dialysis / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome