Trends in relative mortality between Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites initiating dialysis: a retrospective study of the US Renal Data System

Am J Kidney Dis. 2013 Aug;62(2):312-21. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2013.02.375. Epub 2013 May 4.


Background: Hispanic patients undergoing long-term dialysis experience better survival compared with non-Hispanic whites. It is unknown whether this association differs by age, has changed over time, or is due to differential access to kidney transplantation.

Study design: National retrospective cohort study.

Setting & participants: Using the US Renal Data System, we identified 615,618 white patients 18 years or older who initiated dialysis therapy between January 1, 1995, and December 31, 2007.

Predictors: Hispanic ethnicity (vs non-Hispanic whites), year of end-stage renal disease incidence, age (as potential effect modifier).

Outcomes: All-cause and cause-specific mortality.

Results: We found that Hispanics initiating dialysis therapy experienced lower mortality, but age modified this association (P < 0.001). Compared with non-Hispanic whites, mortality in Hispanics was 33% lower at ages 18-39 years (adjusted cause-specific HR [HRcs], 0.67; 95% CI, 0.64-0.71) and 40-59 years (HRcs, 0.67; 95% CI, 0.66-0.68), 19% lower at ages 60-79 years (HRcs, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.80-0.82), and 6% lower at 80 years or older (HRcs, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.91-0.97). Accounting for the differential rates of kidney transplantation, the associations were attenuated markedly in the younger age strata; the survival benefit for Hispanics was reduced from 33% to 10% at ages 18-39 years (adjusted subdistribution-specific HR [HRsd], 0.90; 95% CI, 0.85-0.94) and from 33% to 19% among those aged 40-59 years (HRsd, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.80-0.83).

Limitations: Inability to analyze Hispanic subgroups that may experience heterogeneous mortality outcomes.

Conclusions: Overall, Hispanics experienced lower mortality, but differential access to kidney transplantation was responsible for much of the apparent survival benefit noted in younger Hispanics.

Keywords: Clinical epidemiology; Hispanic ethnicity; dialysis; survival.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United Nations
  • White People*
  • Young Adult