End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), or kidney failure, occurs when the kidneys progressively stop working. Many patients with ESRD are on dialysis to supplement the ‘normal functioning kidneys’. The dialysis treatment itself exposes the patient to many risks however these patients are also at high risk for Cardiovascular disease, Hypertension, Bone disorders including osteoporosis, electrolytes abnormalities and many, many other co-morbidities. So what are the survival rates for ESRD patients on dialysis? Listed below are some factors which influence the survival rates of patients with kidney disease.
Data Source: 2017 Annual Data Report, United States Renal Data System
Factor 1 : Cardiovascular Diseases
As mentioned earlier, dialysis patients have a much higher risk of cardiovascular events when compared to the general population. These include coronary artery disease, heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Cardiac Arrhythmias are the lading cause of death in this population. In fact, patients with chronic kidney disease have a higher risk of dying from heart disease before progressing to dialysis.
Factor 2: Time on Dialysis
In general, the longer time one spends on dialysis, the greater risk of death. A patient on dialysis may have a mortality rate 25 times higher than someone their own age not on dialysis. The survival rate and time on dialysis also progressively declines as you age. Of note, diabetic patients have worse survival rates than non-diabetic patients.
Factor 3 : Demographics
Certain groups of patients with ESRD have better survival rates than others. This varies both across the globe in different countries. Just remember that age, sex and ethnicity are all factors that influence both the incidence and dialysis survival rates.
Hemodialysis or Peritoneal: Does it Matter?
Many patients ask whether HD or PD offers better outcomes. As it stands, no medical studies strongly favor one modality over the other. Both forms of dialysis are good options for people diagnosed with ESRD.
Overall Survival Rates for ESRD Patients on Dialysis
Controlling for age and other demographic variants, the overall outlook is that patients on dialysis have a 10-20 times higher mortality rate than the general population. Annual mortality is around 9% per year of all US dialysis patients.
It is important for all patients with Chronic Kidney Disease and End Stage Renal Disease to remain educated, aware, proactive and involved in their care. Patients should work closely with their health care provider to minimize risk exposure, optimize and potentially correct any other co-morbidities including Diabetes, Hypertension and Heart Disease. !