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Patients on hemodialysis are better served by a proximal arteriovenous fistula for long-term venous access.Patients with end-stage renal disease should have arteriovenous fistula (AVF) formation 3 to 6 months prior to commencing hemodialysis (HD). However, this is not always possible with strained health care resources. We aim to compare autologous proximal AVF (PAVF) with distal AVF (DAVF) in patients already on HD. Primary end point is 4-year functional primary. Secondary end point is freedom from major adverse clinical events (MACEs). From January 2003 to June 2009, out of 495 AVF formations, 179 (36%) patients were already on HD. These patients had 200 AVF formations (49 DAVF vs 151 PAVF) in arms in which no previous fistula had been formed. No synthetic graft was used. Four-year primary functional patency significantly improved with PAVF (68.9% ± SD 8.8%) compared to DAVF (7.3% ± SD 4.9%; P < .0001). Five-year freedom from MACE was 85% with PAVF compared to 40% with DAVF (P < .005). Proximal AVF bestows long-term functional access with fewer complications compared to DAVF for patients already on HD.