Frailty predicts early death or functional decline after dialysis in patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

About the Project:

Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs in the human body that filter the blood, removing waste and extra water. People who have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) have kidneys that are not working right. In most patients, kidney function can remain stable for many years. However, some patients will reach kidney failure which means that they have to go on dialysis to live. Dialysis is a treatment provided in hospital 3 times a week, for four hours at a time, where a person uses a machine that acts like the kidneys and filters the blood for the body.

While dialysis can increase life for younger patients, it might not be the best option for everyone. Older adults who are frail may end up with poorer health on dialysis. Making the choice between starting dialysis or not is a tough choice for patients and their families. Currently, much of the decision is based on opinion, and not data. The goal of this current project is to develop a tool that will consider a patient’s physical and mental health, and predict how long they will live on dialysis, and what their quality of life will be. In the future, it is our broader goal to incorporate this tool into doctor’s offices across Canada, where patients with CKD, and their families, can use it to help make the decision on whether dialysis is the best treatment choice for them.

Project Team

Principal Investigator:


  • Clara Bohm, MD, MPH — University of Manitoba
  • Todd Duhamel, PhD — University of Manitoba
  • Bhanu Prasad, MD — University of Saskatchewan
  • Nilay Shah, PhD — The Mayo Clinic


  • Thomas Ferguson, MSc — University of Manitoba
  • Krista Rossum, BSc — University of Manitoba

Project contact: Navdeep Tangri —


Keywords: frailty; chronic kidney disease; risk prediction; kidney failure; dialysis; quality of life