Hemodialysis versus peritoneal dialysis: a comparison of adjusted mortality rates

Am J Kidney Dis. 1997 Sep;30(3):334-42. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(97)90276-6.


Although kidney transplantation is the preferred treatment method for patients with ESRD, most patients are placed on dialysis either while awaiting transplantation or as their only therapy. The question of which dialytic method provides the best patient survival remains unresolved. Survival analyses comparing hemodialysis and continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis/continuous cyclic peritoneal dialysis (CAPD/CCPD), a newer and less costly dialytic modality, have yielded conflicting results. Using data obtained from the Canadian Organ Replacement Register, we compared mortality rates between hemodialysis and CAPD/CCPD among 11,970 ESRD patients who initiated treatment between 1990 and 1994 and were followed-up for a maximum of 5 years. Factors controlled for include age, primary renal diagnosis, center size, and predialysis comorbid conditions. The mortality rate ratio (RR) for CAPD/CCPD relative to hemodialysis, as estimated by Poisson regression, was 0.73 (95% confidence interval: 0.68 to 0.78). No such relationship was found when an intent-to-treat Cox regression model was fit. Decreased covariable-adjusted mortality for CAPD/CCPD held within all subgroups defined by age and diabetes status, although the RRs increased with age and diabetes prevalence. The increased mortality on hemodialysis compared with CAPD/CCPD was concentrated in the first 2 years of follow-up. Although continuous peritoneal dialysis was associated with significantly lower mortality rates relative to hemodialysis after adjusting for known prognostic factors, the potential impact of unmeasured patient characteristics must be considered. Notwithstanding, we present evidence that CAPD/CCPD, a newer and less costly method of renal replacement therapy, is not associated with increased mortality rates relative to hemodialysis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Middle Aged
  • Peritoneal Dialysis, Continuous Ambulatory / mortality*
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Renal Dialysis / mortality*
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate