Life Expectancy for Diabetics on Dialysis

As is estimated, the survival of all diabetic patients undergoing dialysis is 82% at 1 year, 48% at 3 years, and 28% at 5 years. Studies showed that type of diabetes, severe vascular disease, cirrhosis, and the generic other risk factors were significantly related to survival; but diabetic patients without any baseline risk factors also had a poor prognosis and morbidity was very high in absolute terms. Survival also varies inversely with age, being best in young patients with good blood pressure control and no clinically evident cardiac disease.

Among the highest death causes is cardiovascular complications, particularly coronary atheroma, accumulate before patients enter renal replacement programs. This observation points to the need for improved patient care in pre–end-stage renal failure. In the diabetic patient, dialysis should be started earlier than in the nondiabetic patient, and prophylactic vascular access should be established when the glomerular filtration rate is approximately 20 ml/min.

However, even though dialysis is timely taken, there are also other threatens. For instance, infection is another leading risk rate. On the one hand, dialysis poses risk of getting infections; on the other hand, due to high blood glucose and low immunity in the body, diabetics are more likely to suffer from infections than others.

Moreover, what comes along severe renal failure is the overall vascular damages in the brain, heart, retina, foot and so on. The complication caused by diabetes, renal failure and dialysis will make the situation worsening. That's why the life expectancy among diabetics on dialysis is not optimistic.

In conventional concept, there is no other choice except for kidney transplantation for diabetics on dialysis. However, things can be changed here in Shijiazhuang Kidney Disease Hospital, where the combination of traditional Chinese medicine and Stem Cell Transplantation is applied to treat Diabetic Nephropathy from both controlling diabetes and repairing kidney damage. Hopefully dialysis can be avoided and kidney functions can be improved for those who have not begun dialysis; for those with frequent dialysis, what we can do is to improve their life quality and reduce dialysis intervention.

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