Objective: The Roma minority represents the largest ethnic group in Central and South-East European countries. Data regarding the mortality in Roma hemodialysis subjects are limited. We evaluated the 3 year mortality of ESRD Roma patients treated with hemodialysis (HD).
Study design and setting: Our prospective cohort study included 600 ESRD patients on HD therapy recruited from 7 HD centers, from the main geographical regions of Romania. The median age of the patients was 56 (19) years, 332 (55.3%) being males, 51 (8.5%) having Roma ethnicity.
Results: Roma ESRD patients initiate dialysis at a younger age, 47.8 years vs. 52.3 years (P = 0.017), present higher serum albumin (P = 0.013) and higher serum phosphate levels (P = 0.021). In the Roma group, the overall 3 year mortality was higher when compared to Caucasians (33.3% vs. 24.8%). The multivariate survival analysis revealed that being of Roma ethnicity is an independent risk factor for mortality (HR = 1.74; 95% CI = 1.04-2.91; P = 0.035).
Conclusions: Roma patients with ESRD initiate HD therapy at a younger age as compared to Caucasians. They have a higher 3 year mortality rate and are dying at a younger age. Roma ethnicity represents an independent risk factor for mortality in our cohort.