Aim: Long term dialysis is life-saving for patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD). However, in ESRD patients with multiple comorbid conditions, dialysis may actually be futile, and conservative management is advisable. We studied the life expectancy of Chinese ESRD patients treated conservatively.
Methods: We reviewed 63 consecutive ESRD patients who were treated conservatively in our centre. Duration of survival was calculated from the date of initial assessment for dialysis, as well as the expected date of needing dialysis based on previous trend of renal function decline.
Results: At the end of the observation period, 55 patients died. Twelve patients died before the expected date of needing dialysis because of unrelated reasons, while 36 deaths were directly attributed to uraemia. The median overall survival after initial assessment for dialysis was 41.3 months (95% confidence interval (CI), 33.2 to 49.4 months). The median overall survival was 6.58 months (inter-quartile range, 0.92 to 9.33 months) from the theoretical date of needing dialysis. The survival from the theoretical date of needing dialysis did not correlate with patient age, sex, diabetic status, or baseline renal function.
Conclusions: In Chinese ESRD patients treated conservatively, the median survival is around 6 months after the theoretical date of needing dialysis. Our result provides an important piece of information for the decision of dialysis and patient counselling.