Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Early Mortality After Dialysis Initiation

Rob Foley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Confronted with the decision to initiate dialysis, patients and caregivers often seek information about how expected survival chances evolve, both initially and afterward, providing the patient survives beyond arbitrary periods of time. Large registry data, used to examine these issues, may be subject to early ascertainment bias, such as those accruing from nonregistration of with end-stage kidney disease who die shortly after dialysis initiation and inclusion of patients with acute kidney injury with slower than typical recovery rates. Despite these caveats, available studies have suggested that mortality hazards are much higher in the first 3 months of renal replacement therapy. Prominent modifiable associations of early mortality include late referral to nephrology services, initial dialysis with vascular catheters, and, most problematically, higher glomerular filtration rates at initiation of renal replacement therapy. Despite their imperfections, currently available information is relatively user-unfriendly and could be better leveraged to help patients and treatment teams make better decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-119
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2017


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  • Journal Article
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