Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Am Soc Nephrol. 1999 Aug;10(8):1793-800.

Prevalence of and factors associated with suboptimal care before initiation of dialysis in the United States.

Author information

Division of Nephrology, New England Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


Despite improvements in dialysis care, the mortality of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the United States remains high. Factors that thus far have received scant attention, but could significantly affect morbidity and mortality in dialysis patients, are the timing and quality of care before the initiation of dialysis (pre-ESRD). Data from the new version of the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) 2728 Form were used to examine the prevalence of and factors associated with hypoalbuminemia, severe anemia, and erythropoietin (EPO) use among 155,076 incident chronic dialysis patients in the United States between April 1, 1995 and June 30, 1997. At initiation of dialysis, the median serum albumin and hematocrit were 3.3 g/dl and 28%, respectively. Sixty percent of patients had a serum albumin below the lower limit of normal and 51% had a hematocrit <28%. Overall, only 23% had received EPO pre-ESRD. Among patients with hematocrit <28%, only 20% were receiving EPO, compared to 27% among patients with hematocrit > or =28%. In a multivariate analysis that adjusted for diabetes, functional status, and demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic factors, the odds ratios for hypoalbuminemia, hematocrit <28%, and lack of EPO use were higher for African-Americans, patients with non-private insurance or no insurance, and patients who were started on hemodialysis. There were also significant differences in odds ratios for these outcomes between different geographic regions in the United States. The high prevalence of pre-ESRD hypoalbuminemia, hematocrit <28%, and lack of EPO use suggests that the quality of pre-ESRD care in the United States is suboptimal. Improvement in pre-ESRD care could potentially improve outcomes among ESRD patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center