Journal Article

Outcome of home haemodialysis patients: a case-cohort study

Esther Saner, Dorothea Nitsch, Claude Descoeudres, Felix J. Frey and Dominik E. Uehlinger

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 20, issue 3, pages 604-610
Published in print March 2005 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Outcome of home haemodialysis patients: a case-cohort study

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Background. Randomized, controlled comparisons between home haemodialysis (HHD) and centre haemodialysis (CHD) have not been performed to date. Reported survival benefits of HHD as compared with CHD from uncontrolled studies have been attributed largely to patient selection.

Methods. In order to minimize a selection bias, we have compared the outcome of our HHD and CHD patients with a nested case-cohort study. For each patient trained for HHD at our dialysis centre between 1970 and 1995 (n = 103), a corresponding match was searched from the CHD patients by retrospective chart analysis. The pairs were matched for sex, age (±5 years), time of dialysis therapy onset (±2 years) and renal disease category. For 58 of the 103 HHD patients, a corresponding matched CHD patient was identified. Both treatment groups had the same mean age (50±13 years) at dialysis onset and were comparable with respect to the Khan comorbidity index, prevalence and duration of hypertension, smoking habits, history of myocardial infarction, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. In both groups, ∼50% of the patients were transplanted during the observation period.

Results. HHD patients were hospitalized less often and tended to have fewer operations as compared with CHD patients. Survival was significantly longer in HHD as compared with CHD. Five, 10 and 20 year survival rates were 93 (n = 55 patients at risk), 72 (41) and 34% (11) with HHD and 64 (38), 48 (26) and 23% (4) with CHD, respectively. This survival difference persisted after adjusting for predictors of mortality, i.e. age at onset of dialysis, year of start of dialysis therapy and Khan comorbidity index.

Conclusions. HHD offers a cheap and valuable alternative to CHD, with no apparent disadvantages.

Keywords: case-cohort study; home haemodialysis; survival

Journal Article.  4370 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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