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Research Article

Successful treatment of middle aged and elderly patients with end stage renal disease.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 286 doi: (Published 25 June 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;286:2018
  1. D H Taube,
  2. E A Winder,
  3. C S Ogg,
  4. M Bewick,
  5. J S Cameron,
  6. C J Rudge,
  7. D G Williams


    Many patients over the age of 55 with end stage renal disease in the United Kingdom are denied dialysis or transplantation. Although the reasons are complex, anticipation of a poor prognosis for these patients might explain why most British renal units impose an arbitrary age limit on the acceptance of patients for treatment. A study was therefore conducted to examine the prognosis and quality of life of 84 patients (mean age 59.6 years, range 55-72) accepted into our renal replacement programme from the beginning of 1975. The five year survival of the patients was 62.0% with 78.1% of the survivors either having successful transplants or caring for themselves using home haemodialysis or continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. The results show that in terms of survival, economics, and rehabilitation it is both feasible and reasonable to treat middle aged and elderly patients with end stage renal disease. These patients should therefore not be denied dialysis or transplantation on the basis of age alone, and the lack of resources and other factors that allow this state to persist in Britain should be rapidly redressed.