Research from Mayo Clinic finds that half of elderly patients who start dialysis after age 75 will die within one year. Lead study author and a health care delivery scholar with the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery Bjorg Thorsteinsdottir, M.D., says, “Many elderly patients and their families feel that they have no choice but to start dialysis, with several expressing regret from having initiated therapy. The goal of our study was to develop evidence about dialysis outcomes to help guide shared decision-making among the patient, family members and care team.”
The findings are being presented this week at the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week 2013 in Atlanta.
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The graph below shows patients age 75 or older who start dialysis in the intensive care unit have significant risk of dying within one year of hospitalization. Groups starting in other settings fare better.