We compared changes from 1965 to 1987 in patients accepted to chronic dialysis, in a Swedish and a US dialysis center, by medical and clinical parameters at the start of dialysis and by duration of the dialysis. We also studied cause of death, outcome, and cumulative survival and tried to relate them to changes in patients and procedures. Finally, we studied how cumulative survival of dialysis patients was dependent on acceptance rates and transplant rates in five European regions and the United States. At both centers, the number of patients accepted grew, but since 1980, the only patient group that has increased has been older patients with many other diseases; these comorbid conditions have increased from approximately 1.2 to 1.4. In both centers, the number of patients with systemic disease, diabetes, and nephrosclerosis doubled. Cause of death showed a decrease in cardiovascular deaths and an increase in deaths due to stopping dialysis. The hemoglobin level increased from 70 to 90 g/L (7.0 to 9.0 g/dL) and the diastolic blood pressure decreased from 100 to 90 mm Hg. The creatinine level decreased 30% with an unchanged urea. Cumulative 3-year survival for patients without complications increased from 60% to approximately 90% and in patients with complications, it improved from 20% to 60% in Sweden and remained at approximately 60% in the US center. In the United States, many more patients were accepted to dialysis and the transplant rate was high. Cumulative survival on dialysis was inversely correlated both to the acceptance rates to dialysis and to the percent of patients transplanted. These factors explained over 90% of the differences in dialysis survival.
- cumulative survival