Death in conditions of cachexia: the price for the dialysis treatment of the elderly?

Abstract

Death in conditions of cachexia is increasing in potential dialysis patients, as treated cohorts are aging, the mean age of new patients increased and access to treatment is unlimited. The present study analyzes the clinical features of 417 deaths in conditions of cachexia recorded in 1981 to 1990 in the Dialysis and Transplantation Registry of a northern Italian region, Piedmont (about 4,400,000 inhabitants, 20 dialysis centers; 4,734 patients on file at December 31, 1990; yearly information on 100% of the cases). Death in conditions of cachexia increased from 105 cases in the first four years taken into account (1981 to 1984), to 107 in the last two years (1989 to 1990). Prevalence is higher in the elderly (85% of the death over age 60). Most patients (90.5%) were at high clinical risk. To assess whether the frequency of this diagnosis reflected the wide acceptance of elderly patients for dialysis and was a marked of vascular disease, a specific inquiry was conducted about 107 cachectic deaths recorded from 1989 to 1990: 82.5% of the patients had diffused vascular disease, 11.5% were already cachectic when dialysis was initiated, and 66% were in cachexia at least six months before death. Since mean age of patients dying in condition of cachexia increased from 68.8 in the period of 1981 to 1984 to 70.3 years in 1989 to 1990, and mean time on dialysis from 2.8 years in 1981 to 1984 to 70.3 years in 1989 to 1990, the higher prevalence is not likely to be due to lack of care of elderly patients.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Cite this paper

@article{Piccoli1993DeathIC, title={Death in conditions of cachexia: the price for the dialysis treatment of the elderly?}, author={Giorgina Barbara Piccoli and Franco Bonello and Carlo Massara and Mario Salomone and Silvia Maffei and Gian Maria Iadarola and Emanuele Stramignoni and Claudia Rosati and Marco Borca and Paola Belardi}, journal={Kidney international. Supplement}, year={1993}, volume={41}, pages={S282-6} }