Background/aims: African-Americans with end-stage renal disease receiving dialysis have more severe secondary hyperparathyroidism than Whites. We aimed to assess racial differences in clinical use of cinacalcet.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study used data from DaVita, Inc., for 45,589 prevalent hemodialysis patients, August 2004, linked to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services data, with follow-up through July 2007. Patients with Medicare as primary payer, intravenous vitamin D use, or weighted mean parathyroid hormone (PTH) level >150 pg/ml at baseline (August 1-October 31, 2004) were included. Cox proportional hazard modeling was used to evaluate race and other demographic and clinical characteristics as predictors of cinacalcet initiation, titration, and discontinuation.
Results: Of 16,897 included patients, 7,674 (45.4%) were African-American and 9,223 (54.6%) were white; 53.2% of cinacalcet users were African-American. Cinacalcet was prescribed for 47.7% of African-Americans and 34.5% of Whites, and for a greater percentage of African-Americans at higher doses at each PTH strata. After covariate adjustment, African-Americans were more likely than Whites to receive cinacalcet prescriptions (hazard ratio 1.17, p < 0.001). The direction and magnitude of this effect appeared to vary by age, baseline PTH, and calcium, and by elemental calcium use. African-Americans were less likely than Whites to have prescriptions discontinued and slightly more likely to undergo uptitration (hazard ratio 1.09, 95% confidence interval 0.995-1.188), but this relationship lacked statistical significance.
Conclusion: Cinacalcet is prescribed more commonly and at higher initial doses for African-Americans than for Whites to manage secondary hyperparathyroidism.