This is a retrospective comparison of the status among the elderly (> or = 60 years, 23 patients) and younger patients (< 60 years, 31 cases) who initiated continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) between January 1986 and December 1992 at the National Taiwan University Hospital. The distribution of underlying renal diseases differed in the two groups with diabetes (56%) as the most common disease in the elderly, in contrast to glomerulonephritis (60%) in the younger patients. Haemodialysis intolerance and patient preference were the main reasons leading to the use of CAPD in both groups. Social rehabilitation status was poorer in the elderly group. The difference in cumulative risk of the first peritonitis episode and the technique failure rate were not statistically significant. The major causes of mortality were of vascular origin in both groups. In conclusion, similarities in the technique failure rate and the cumulative risk of peritonitis imply that CAPD is an acceptable alternative long-term dialysis therapy for geriatric patients.
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