An international feasibility study of home haemodialysis in older patients

Tom Cornelis, Karthik K Tennankore, Eric Goffin, Virpi Rauta, Eero Honkanen, Akin Őzyilmaz, Vijay Thanaraj, Anuradha Jayanti, Sandip Mitra, Frank M van der Sande, Jeroen P Kooman, Christopher T Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Home haemodialysis (HHD) is undergoing a significant revival. There is a global demographic shift with a rising mean age of dialysis patients. We postulated that intensive HHD may also benefit the older dialysis population. However, there is a lack of literature on the feasibility of HHD in older patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The purpose of this study was to ascertain the feasibility of delivering HHD to older patients.

METHODS: We conducted a multi-centre multinational retrospective cohort study of HHD patients ≥65 years of age at the time of HHD initiation; 79 patients were included. Baseline demographic data included age at start of dialysis, race and sex. Dialysis characteristics including total weekly treatment hours, need for assistance, training time, dialysis access, modality and dialysis vintage were captured, as well as cause of ESRD and medical co-morbidities. The primary outcome was time to technique failure or death. Rates of hospitalization, cardiovascular events, non-infectious vascular access events and infections were collected.

RESULTS: Median age at start was 68 (interquartile range 66-71) years. An arteriovenous fistula was the predominant access, and most patients were receiving <16 h of total weekly dialysis treatment. Family or nurse assistance for dialysis was required in 54% of patients. There were 17 (22%) deaths and 20 (26%) technique failures. The cumulative time at risk was 188 years. Event-free survival at 1, 2 and 5 years was 85, 77 and 24%, respectively, and technique survival was 92, 83 and 56%, respectively. Advancing age (categorized into quartiles) was an unadjusted risk factor for death and technique failure.

CONCLUSIONS: This analysis confirms feasibility of HHD in patients 65 years or older at the start of this modality and should foster further research on the potential benefits of (intensive) HHD in older ESRD patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2327-2333
Number of pages7
JournalNephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • Aged
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Global Health
  • Hemodialysis, Home
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic
  • Male
  • Morbidity
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Journal Article
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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