Quality of care and mortality are worse in chronic kidney disease patients living in remote areas

Kidney Int. 2011 Jan;79(2):210-7. doi: 10.1038/ki.2010.376. Epub 2010 Oct 6.


Many patients with non-dialysis dependent chronic kidney disease (CKD) live far from the closest nephrologist; although reversible, this might constitute a barrier to optimal care. In order to evaluate outcomes, we selected 31,452 outpatients older than 18 years with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) less than 45 ml/min per 1.73 m² who had serum creatinine measured at least once during 2005 in Alberta, Canada. We then used logistic regression to examine the association between outcomes of 6545 patients who lived more than 50 km from the nearest nephrologist. Over a median follow-up of 27 months, 7684 participants died and 15,075 were hospitalized at least once. Compared with those living within 50 km, those further away were significantly less likely to visit a nephrologist or a multidisciplinary CKD clinic within 18 months of the index measurement of the eGFR. Similarly, remote dwellers with diabetes were significantly less likely to have hemoglobin A1c evaluated within 1 year of the index eGFR measurement, to have urinary albumin assessed biannually, or to receive an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor or receptor blocker in the setting of diabetes or proteinuria. Remote-dwelling participants were also significantly more likely to die or be hospitalized during follow-up than those living closer. Thus, among people with CKD, remote dwellers were less likely to receive specialist care, recommended laboratory testing, and appropriate medications, and were more likely to die or be hospitalized compared with those living closer to a nephrologist.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alberta / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrology
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / mortality*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy*
  • Rural Health Services
  • Rural Population