Journal Article

Association between time of referral and survival in the first year of dialysis in diabetics and the elderly

Dinanda J. de Jager, Nora Voormolen, Raymond T. Krediet, Friedo W. Dekker, Elisabeth W. Boeschoten and Diana C. Grootendorst

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

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

Volume 26, issue 2, pages 652-658
Published in print February 2011 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online July 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfq438
Association between time of referral and survival in the first year of dialysis in diabetics and the elderly

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Objective. The objective of the study was to estimate the association between time of referral and survival during dialysis in diabetics and patients aged ≥ 70 years.

Design, setting and subjects. This study was a prospective follow-up study in 1438 incident dialysis patients (1996–2004, 62% male, 60 ± 15 years) in The Netherlands.

Main outcome measures. Referral (time between first pre-dialysis visit to a nephrologist and dialysis initiation) was classified as: late (< 3 months), early (3–12 months) or very early (≥ 12 months). All-cause mortality risk within the first year of dialysis was calculated [HR (95% confidence interval, CI), adjusted for age, sex and primary kidney disease (PKD)]. Additive interaction between time of referral and diabetes mellitus (adjusted for age and sex) or age (adjusted for sex and PKD) was assessed by synergy index [S (95% CI)].

Results. Thirty-two percent were late referred, 12% early and 56% very early; 21% had diabetes; and 30% were ≥ 70 years. Early and late referrals were associated with increased mortality compared with very early referral [HRadjearly: 1.5 (1.0, 2.4), late: 1.8 (1.3, 2.5)]. A similar trend was observed in diabetics and non-diabetics. However, no interaction between time of referral and diabetes was present [Slate 0.8 (0.4, 1.9), Searly 1.2 (0.4, 3.6)]. Likewise, in patients aged < 70 and ≥ 70 years, time of referral was associated with increased mortality, without interaction [Slate 0.9 (0.4, 1.8), Searly 0.8 (0.3, 2.0)].

Conclusion. Late referral is associated with increased mortality in the first year of dialysis. Diabetes or high age does not have an additional worsening effect, implying that timely referral is important in future dialysis patients irrespective of diabetes or high age.

Keywords: diabetes; elderly; late referral; pre-dialysis; survival

Journal Article.  4562 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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