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Int Urol Nephrol. 2012 Feb;44(1):283-93. doi: 10.1007/s11255-011-9973-2. Epub 2011 May 3.

Peritoneal dialysis in an ageing population: a 10-year experience.

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  • 1Department of Nephrology, Adelaide & Meath Hospital, Dublin 24, Tallaght, Ireland.



Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is becoming increasingly prevalent and there are increasing numbers of older patients with advanced CKD. Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a potential treatment. This study aims to compare PD outcomes in age-defined populations in the largest PD centre in the Republic of Ireland over 10 years.


We retrospectively identified all adult patients, over the age of 50 years, who commenced PD as their first modality of renal replacement therapy (RRT) between 1 January 1998 and 31 December 2008 at our institution. Primary outcome was patient survival; secondary outcomes were technique failure, peritonitis-free survival, transplantation and hospitalisations.


One hundred and forty-eight patients with a mean age of 63 years were included. Twenty-two patients were on assisted PD, the majority of whom were aged 70 years or over (P = 0.001). There were no differences in patient survival or technique failure by age group, Charlson Co-Morbidity Index (CCI), modified-CCI or adjusted CCI. Renal transplantation occurred predominantly in younger patients (P = 0.001) with lower m-CCI (P = 0.001) and a-CCI (P = 0.002) who performed PD independently (P = 0.004). Older patients required longer hospital stays to initiate PD (P = 0.004). Assisted PD was not associated with an increase in early complications or technique failure but death rates were higher (P = 0.002).


This study shows PD to be an acceptable modality of renal replacement therapy in elderly patients, with no observed differences in survival, technique survival or complication rates. Co-morbidities appear to play a stronger role in predicting survival than age alone. Assisted PD is a viable option in those unable to undergo PD independently.

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