Cardiovascular mortality is especially high among dialysis patients with diabetes, as is morbidity due to protein energy wasting. Given that both of these factors may be decreased by thiazolidinedione treatment, we studied the effect of thiazolidinedione use on survival among chronic dialysis patients in a national cohort of 5290 incident dialysis patients with diabetes. Thiazolidinedione use was assessed according to prescription data, and the analyses were stratified based on insulin use due to observed interaction. In the primary analysis, thiazolidinedione treatment was associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality among insulin-free but not insulin-requiring subjects, with adjusted hazards ratios of 0.53 (0.31-0.89) and 0.82 (0.46-1.47) respectively. Sensitivity analyses found the findings to be robust with respect to confounding by indication, severity of the diabetes, potential reverse causality, and time varying exposure patterns. The mechanism of this decline in all-cause mortality will need to be examined after these studies are confirmed.