Peritoneal dialysis outcomes of Indigenous Australian patients of remote Kimberley origin

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To compare clinical outcomes and mortality rates between Kimberley Indigenous, other Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD).

Design and participants

Patients commencing renal replacement therapy (RRT) with PD for the first time from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2009 were retrospectively identified. Secondary data from medical records and the Australian and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2010 were used to compare outcomes between patients.

Main outcome measures

Time to first peritonitis; failure and death rates per 100 patient-years, hazard ratios, unadjusted and adjusted (for age, sex, comorbid conditions, PD not the first RRT modality used). Comparison of the two PD systems used in the Kimberley.


Kimberley patients had significantly shorter median time to first peritonitis (11.2 versus 21.5 months), higher technique failure (46.0 versus 25.2 per 100 patient-years) and shorter median survival on PD (17.5 versus 22.4 months) but similar adjusted mortality (hazard ratio 1.32; 95% CI, 0.76-2.29) as non-Indigenous patients. They also had a significantly higher technique failure rate than other Indigenous patients (46.0 versus 31.4 per 100 patient-years) and nearly double the average peritonitis episodes previously reported for Indigenous Australians (2.0 versus 1.15 per patient-year).


PD can bring patients closer to home; however, it is relatively short term and potentially hazardous. PD remains an important therapy for suitable remote patients to get closer to home, providing they are fully informed of the options. The current expansion of safer Kimberley haemodialysis options needs to continue.

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