The impact of nutritional status, physical function, comorbidity and early versus late start in dialysis on quality of life in older dialysis patients


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Renal failure;36(1)


Informa Healthcare

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Background: For the majority of the older patients in dialysis, the treatment will be lifelong. Thus, quality of life (QoL) is a crucial outcome. Our aim was to assess the QoL of older Norwegian dialysis patients and to investigate the impact of early (estimated glomerular filtration rate, eGFR 10 mL/min) versus late (eGFR510 mL/min) start in dialysis, comorbidity, nutritional status and physical capacity. Methods: A self-report questionnaire including SF-36 (QoL) and the Subjective Global Assessment (SGA; nutritional status) was mailed to all patients (n¼320) 75 years registered in the Norwegian Renal Registry (NRR) as being in dialysis by September 2009. Reply was received from 233 patients (73%). Medical data including comorbidities and eGFR at dialysis start (obtained for 194 patients) were retrieved from the NRR. Functional capacity was determined from the SGA. Results: Compared to reports from younger dialysis patients, our patients scored poorer on all SF-36 subscales. Early start in dialysis was registered for 52 patients, 142 patients started late, 51.4% were well nourished (SGA A), 32.3% moderately malnourished (SGA B) and 16.4% were severely malnourished (SGA C). No significant association between any SF-36 scores and early versus late start, nutritional status or comorbidity was found. Better physical function was significantly associated with better scores on all SF-36 scales. Conclusions: Our results indicate that physical function is important to all QoL aspects. Increased focus on physical rehabilitation seems pertinent. Early start of dialysis treatment was not associated with better long term QoL scores



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