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Survival in elderly patients with kidney failure starting haemodialysis in Cameroon

  • Denis Georges Teuwafeu University of Buea
  • Alex Tatang Mambap
  • Pih Asizeh Alake
  • Ronald Mbua Gobina
  • Marie-Patrice Halle
  • Gloria Ashuntantang university of Yaounde 1, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Keywords: survival, elderly, Cameroon, comorbidity, kidney failure, haemodialysis


Introduction: Elderly patients have an increased risk of kidney failure due to ageing and comorbidities. This study assessed survival among elderly patients starting maintenance haemodialysis at the Buea and Bamenda regional hospitals in Cameroon.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of elderly patients (65 years of age and older) who began maintenance haemodialysis between January 2016 and December 2020. The primary outcome of interest was survival at one year.

Results: The proportion of elderly patients starting dialysis was 11%. There were 81 patients included in the study. Their median age at dialysis initiation was 70 years [interquartile range (IQR) 66–73 years] and 90% had high comorbidity scores according to the Charlson Comorbidity Index. The median survival time was 7.5 months (IQR 0.7–12.0 months) and the survival rate at one year was 41%. The most common causes of death were sudden death (42%), infection/sepsis (21%) and dialysis withdrawal (17%). The lowest survival time (median 6.5 days) was observed in patients older than 85 years, with a high comorbidity index. Emergency start to dialysis [hazard ratio (HR) 1.434, P = 0.032), age ≥75 years (HR = 19.384, P = 0.001), refractory hyperkalaemia as an indication for starting dialysis (HR = 1.244, P = 0.02) and high comorbidity index (HR = 2.819, P = 0.014)] were associated with poorer survival.

Conclusions: Only half of the elderly patients were still alive one year after starting maintenance haemodialysis. Comorbidity score, age, refractory hyperkalaemia and emergency start to dialysis were associated with survival.



How to Cite

Teuwafeu, Denis Georges, Alex Tatang Mambap, Pih Asizeh Alake, Ronald Mbua Gobina, Marie-Patrice Halle, and Gloria Ashuntantang. 2023. “Survival in Elderly Patients With Kidney Failure Starting Haemodialysis in Cameroon”. African Journal of Nephrology 26 (1), 111-16.


Original articles