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Regional differences in dialysis care and mortality among American Indians and Alaska Natives

TitleRegional differences in dialysis care and mortality among American Indians and Alaska Natives
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsHall, YN, Jolly, SE, Xu, P, Abrass, CK, Buchwald, D, Himmelfarb, J
JournalJ Am Soc NephrolJ Am Soc Nephrol
Date PublishedDec
ISBN Number1533-3450 (Electronic)<br/>1046-6673 (Linking)
Accession Number21980114
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Aged, Alaska, Female, Humans, Indians, North American, Male, Middle Aged, Renal Dialysis/ mortality, Young Adult
AbstractAmerican Indians/Alaska Natives (AIANs) compose a heterogeneous population that includes geographically distinct tribal communities, many with high rates of ESRD. Regional features of dialysis care and mortality are unknown in this population. Here, we describe the structure of dialysis care and mortality of adult AIANs who initiated maintenance dialysis during 1995-2008 in different regions of the US. Overall, 13,716 AIANs received dialysis at 2054 facilities. Approximately 10% (n = 197) of these facilities provided care to two-thirds (n = 9011) of AIANs. AIANs from the Southwest and Alaska were concentrated in relatively few dialysis facilities whereas those in the Eastern US and Pacific Coast were distributed more diffusely. Despite comparably high rates of poverty, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, annual mortality rates were lower in the Southwest (13.9%) compared with the Southern Plains (23.2%), Alaska (21.2%), Eastern US (20.0%), Northern Plains (20.8%), and Pacific Coast (22.0%). These regional differences were consistent over time and persisted after adjusting for sociodemographic and clinical variables and area-based poverty. In conclusion, regional differences in the structure of dialysis care and patient mortality exist among AIANs. Southwestern AIANs experience the highest concentration of dialysis care and the lowest mortality. Our findings suggest that an area-based approach examining the care structure of relatively few dialysis facilities may delineate determinants of these differences and improve the quality of care to many AIAN communities.
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