Expected Remaining Lifetimes in Incident Dialysis Patients
Expected remaining lifetimes at the date of dialysis initiation can be calculated in a variety of ways; here, lifetime is assumed to follow an exponential distribution, with rate equal to the mortality rate during the first year of dialysis. Because the mortality rate during the first year is greater than rates during the second and third years (at minimum), the estimates of expected remaining lifetime displayed here are generally pessimistic. Nevertheless, recent declines in the first-year mortality rate among successive cohorts of incident dialysis patients translate into substantial improvements in expected remaining lifetime, including gains exceeding two years among patients age 20–34, gains of 1–2 years among patients age 35–49, and gains of 6–12 months among patients age 50–64. Among octogenarians and nonagenarians, in contrast, expected remaining lifetimes after initiation remain less than two years, and lengthened by less than three months between 2004 and 2010.