Methods: This 1993 Lombardy Registry Report refers to all of the data regarding treated diabetics collected between 1 January 1983 and 31 December 1992 by means of individual patient questionnaires sent to all of Lombardy's 44 Renal Units (100% replies).
Results: The acceptance rate of diabetics for dialysis increased from 5.6 in 1983 to 10.4 patients per million population in 1992 for a total of 731 patients (379 type I, 352 type II). The yearly percentage of new diabetics increased from 9 to 11%, and the proportion of patients with two or more risk factors increased from 14.7% in 1983-1987 to 22.0% in 1988-1992. The use of peritoneal dialysis declined over the 10-year period from 50% in 1983-1984 to 30% in the last 2 years. The difference in age of the patients on peritoneal and haemodialysis tended to decrease. The survival of all diabetic patients was 82% at 1 year, 48% at 3 years, and 28% at 5 years. The relative death risk of the patients on peritoneal dialysis compared to those on haemodialysis, after taking into account age and the main comorbid conditions (type of diabetes, severe vascular disease, cirrhosis and the generic other risk factors), did not differ significantly from one, as estimated by the Cox proportional hazard regression model (344 events). The main causes of death of these patients were cardiovascular diseases (about 50.0%), cachexia (from 17.2% in 1983/1984 to 22% in 1991/1992), and infection (about 11%). The mean hospitalization rate was higher in diabetics than in patients with standard nephropathies (i.e. in 45-64-year-old patients: 32.8 versus 13.9 days/patient-year).
Conclusion: Multivariate analysis showed that age, type of diabetes, severe vascular disease, cirrhosis, and the generic other risk factors were significantly related to survival; but diabetic patients without any baseline risk factors also had a poor prognosis and morbidity was very high in absolute terms. Medical care therefore needs to be improved in order to reverse prognostic risk factors and prevent cardiovascular and noncardiovascular events.