Background: Although the proportion of the elderly patients with incident end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients has been increasing in Korea, there has been a lack of information on outcomes of dialysis treatment. This study aimed to assess the survival rate and to elucidate predictors for all-cause mortality among elderly Korean patients initiating dialysis. Methods: We analyzed 11,301 patients (6,138 men) aged 65 years or older who had initiated dialysis from 2005 to 2008 and had followed up (median, 37.8 months; range, 3-84 months). Baseline demographics, comorbidities and mortality data were obtained using the database from the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service. Results: The unadjusted 5-year survival rate was 37.6% for all elderly dialysis patients, and the rate decreased with increasing age categories; 45.9% (65-69), 37.5% (70-74), 28.4% (75-79), 24.1% (80-84), and 13.7% (≥85 years). The multivariate Cox proportional hazard model revealed that age, sex, dialysis modality, the type of insurance, and comorbidities such as diabetes mellitus, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, dementia, chronic pulmonary disease, hemiparesis, liver disease, and any malignancy were independent predictors for mortality. In addition, survival rate was significantly higher in patients on hemodialysis compared to patients on peritoneal dialysis during the whole follow-up period in the intention-to-treat analysis. Conclusions: Survival rate was significantly associated with age, sex, and various comorbidities in Korean elderly patients initiating dialysis. The results of our study can help to provide relevant guidance on the individualization strategy in elderly ESRD patients requiring dialysis.
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