Introduction: The treatment offered to chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients before starting hemodialysis (HD) impacts prognosis.
Objective: We seek differences among incident HD patients according to the distance between home and the dialysis center.
Methods: We included 179 CKD patients undergoing HD. Patients were stratified in two groups: "living near the dialysis center" (patients whose hometown was in cities up to 100 km from the dialysis center) or as "living far from the dialysis center" (patients whose hometown was more than 100 km from the dialysis center). Socioeconomic status, laboratory results, awareness of CKD before starting HD, consultation with nephrologist before the first HD session, and type of vascular access when starting HD were compared between the two groups. Comparisons of continuous and categorical variables were performed using Student's t-test and the Chi-square test, respectively.
Results: Ninety (50.3%) patients were classified as "living near the dialysis center" and 89 (49.7%) as "living far from the dialysis center". Patients living near the dialysis center were more likely to know about their condition of CKD than those living far from the dialysis center, respectively 46.6% versus 28.0% (p = 0.015). Although without statistical significance, patients living near the dialysis center had more frequent previous consultation with nephrologists (55.5% versus 42.6%; p = 0.116) and first HD by fistula (30.0% versus 19.1%; p = 0.128) than those living far from the dialysis center.
Conclusion: There are potential advantages of CKD awareness, referral to nephrologists and starting HD through fistula among patients living near the dialysis center.