As of 2009, the mean survival for Americans who begin dialysis is three years. This average is due, in part, to the age at which the average American begins dialysis, which is 65 years old, says the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Life expectancy for those undergoing dialysis increases depending on a number of variables such as coexisting medical conditions and compliance with treatment, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Dialysis treatment typically begins when 85 to 90 percent of kidney function is lost. Dialysis does not reverse kidney disease but does assist with functions of the kidneys such as removing waste, salt and water from the body, and maintaining safe levels of potassium, sodium and bicarbonate in the blood, says the National Kidney Foundation.