Hospital admissions in elderly patients on chronic hemodialysis
We developed a composite compliance index as the sum of the compliance scores for interdialytic weight gain (IDWG), pre-dialysis serum potassium and phosphorus concentrations (each scored from zero to 3, with 3 indicating the poorest compliance), and skipping hemodialysis sessions (scored from zero to 9, with 9 indicating the poorest compliance). We used this composite score to prospectively evaluate compliance in 25 prevalent hemodialysis patients over a period of 1 year. We then followed these patients for another 3.5 years. The patients studied were divided into two groups: group A (poor compliance) consisted of 9 subjects with composite score ≥ 9 (13.2 ± 3.2); group B (better compliance) consisted of 16 subjects with composite score < 9 (4.7 ± 1.8). Age, duration of hemodialysis, and frequency of diabetes mellitus did not differ between the groups. Group A contained higher fractions of subjects with history of alcoholism (66.7% vs 12.5%, p = 0.010), other substance addiction (44.4% vs 0%, p = 0.010), and severe psychosocial problems (88.9% vs 18.8%, p = 0.002). Mean survival from the beginning of observation, estimated by actuarial life-table survival analysis, was 1.19 years in group A and 2.60 years in group B (p = 0.0265). A composite compliance index incorporating domains indicating adherence to diet, medications, and dialysis schedule identified other behavioral problems in poorly compliant patients. Hemodialysis patients characterized by this composite index as poorly compliant had shortened survival.