How Long Do Dialysis Patients Survive?
Dialysis is a medical procedure used to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys cannot function properly. Dialysis treatments can provide a means of survival for individuals who have lost kidney function, but it’s important to understand what to expect when it comes to life expectancy. Factors like age, underlying health conditions, and adherence to dialysis treatments can impact survival rates.
Overview of Dialysis
Dialysis is recommended for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), or advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis uses a machine to filter blood through a special filter before returning it to the body. Peritoneal dialysis removes waste and excess fluids from the body by filtering the blood through the lining of the abdomen.
Hemodialysis treatments are usually performed in a dialysis center, hospital, or at home. The duration and frequency of hemodialysis treatments may depend on the individual’s condition, age, and overall health. Typically, hemodialysis is performed three times a week for 3-5 hours per session.
During peritoneal dialysis, a catheter is placed into the patient’s abdomen, through which a sterile solution of dextrose is added and drained at regular intervals. The duration and frequency of peritoneal dialysis treatments depend on the individual’s condition, age, and overall health. Typically, patients undergo several exchanges of fluid each day, while others may use a machine that automatically performs the exchanges overnight while they sleep.
Life Expectancy on Dialysis
The life expectancy of dialysis patients varies depending on factors such as the patient’s age, the severity of their kidney disease, overall health, and how well they can tolerate dialysis treatments. According to a 2019 Kidney International study, the average life expectancy of an individual on dialysis was 4.9 years for men and 5.4 years for women. However, some individuals may live much longer.
Factors Affecting Survival Rates
Several factors affect the survival rate of patients on dialysis. These factors include:
- Age: Older patients have a lower life expectancy than younger patients.
- Underlying health conditions: Patients with conditions such as heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral vascular disease are at higher risk of complications and have a reduced life expectancy.
- Adherence to dialysis treatment: Patients who stick to their dialysis schedule, diet, and medication are more likely to lead a longer life than those who do not.
Long-term Complications of Dialysis
While dialysis can extend the lives of individuals with ESRD, it is not without its risks. Long-term complications can develop, including:
- Bone disease and fractures
- High blood pressure
- Fluid overload
- Infections around the catheter site
- Depression and anxiety
Kidney transplantation may be an option for some individuals on dialysis. A successful kidney transplant can improve life expectancy and quality of life by allowing patients to return to a more normal lifestyle.
Dialysis provides a means of survival for individuals who have lost kidney function, but it’s important to understand the factors that can impact life expectancy. Age, underlying health conditions, and adherence to dialysis treatment can all affect survival rates. Individuals on dialysis may experience long-term complications, and kidney transplantation may be an option for some patients.
Common questions and their answers related to ‘How long do dialysis patients live’
- What is the average life expectancy on dialysis?
- What factors affect the survival rate of dialysis patients?
- Are there any long-term complications associated with dialysis?
- Is a kidney transplant an option for individuals on dialysis?
According to a 2019 Kidney International study, the average life expectancy of an individual on dialysis was 4.9 years for men and 5.4 years for women. However, some individuals may live much longer.
Several factors can affect the survival rate of dialysis patients. These factors include age, underlying health conditions, and adherence to dialysis treatments.
Long-term complications can develop in patients who undergo dialysis. These complications include anemia, bone disease and fractures, high blood pressure, fluid overload, infections around the catheter site, and depression and anxiety.
Yes, kidney transplantation may be an option for some individuals on dialysis. A successful kidney transplant can improve life expectancy and quality of life.
1. United States Renal Data System. (2020). 2020 USRDS annual data report: Epidemiology of kidney disease in the United States. Retrieved from https://usrds.org/annual-data-report/
2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2021). Treatment methods for kidney failure: Hemodialysis. Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidney-failure/hemodialysis
3. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2021). Treatment methods for kidney failure: Peritoneal dialysis. Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidney-failure/peritoneal-dialysis