Table 1.

Characteristics of patients initiating dialysis in the United States between 2000 and 2009

CharacteristicVeteran, Initiated Dialysis within VA (n=16,761)Veteran, Initiated Dialysis outside VA, Paid for by VA (n=4013)Veteran, Initiated Dialysis outside VA, Not Paid for by VA (n=99,436)Nonveteran (n=851,333)P Value
Renal function
 eGFR (ml/min per 1.73 m2)9.27±4.6310.17±4.8110.91±5.689.73±5.37<0.001
 eGFR ≥10 ml/min per 1.73 m2, n (%)5754 (34.3)1725 (43.0)47,303 (47.6)322,131 (37.8)<0.001
 eGFR ≥15 ml/min per 1.73 m2, n (%)1391 (8.3)470 (11.7)16,615 (16.7)102,651 (12.1)<0.001
Age (yr)64.1±11.7)62.4±11.070.3±11.862.1±15.5<0.001
Age category, n (%)<0.001
 <55 yr3563 (21.3)867 (21.6)10,894 (11.0)255,369 (30.0)
 55–64 yr5436 (32.4)1694 (42.2)17,341 (17.4)186,927 (22.0)
 65–74 yr4037 (24.1)758 (19.0)27,846 (28.0)203,369 (23.9)
 75–84 yr3243 (19.4)615 (15.3)36,081 (36.3)162,990 (19.2)
 ≥85 yr482 (2.9)79 (2.0)7274 (7.3)42,678 (5.0)
Women, n (%)303 (1.8)59 (1.5)5996 (6.0)429,890 (50.5)<0.001
Race, n (%)<0.001
 White9661 (57.6)2649 (66.0)75,825 (76.3)546,329 (64.2)
 Black6655 (39.7)1219 (30.4)20,764 (20.9)250,522 (29.4)
 Asian221 (1.3)71 (1.8)1497 (1.5)36,115 (4.2)
 Native American139 (0.8)65 (1.6)1115 (1.1)9873 (1.2)
 Other/missing85 (0.5)9 (0.2)235 (0.2)8494 (1.0)
 Hispanic1596 (9.5)282 (7.0)5515 (5.6)121,422 (14.3)<0.001
Employment status, n (%)<0.001
 Employed full- or part-time1042 (6.2)263 (6.6)7446 (7.5)89,444 (10.5)
 Unemployed2941 (17.6)693 (17.3)8976 (9.0)180,104 (21.2)
 Retired/homemaker12,116 (72.3)2921 (72.8)78,866 (79.3)531,987 (62.5)
 Other/missing662 (4.0)136 (3.4)4148 (4.2)49,798 (5.9)
Rurality, n (%)a<0.001
 Urban10,556 (63.1)1753 (44.0)55,249 (55.7)519,764 (61.3)
 Rural6026 (36.0)2153 (54.0)43,086 (43.5)323,403 (38.1)
 Highly rural136 (0.8)79 (2.0)795 (0.8)5,158 (0.6)
Dialysis type, n (%)<0.001
 Hemodialysis16,361 (97.6)3730 (93.0)92,894 (93.4)792,575 (93.1)
 Peritoneal dialysis395 (2.4)283 (7.1)6501 (6.4)57,503 (6.8)
 Other/Missing5 (0.0)0 (0.0)141 (0.1)1255 (0.2)
BMI category, n (%)<0.001
 Underweight, <18.5 kg/m2712 (4.3)131 (3.3)3596 (3.6)38,965 (4.6)
 Normal weight, 18.5–24.9 kg/m25840 (34.8)1214 (30.3)36,738 (37.0)288,070 (33.8)
 Overweight, 25–29.9 kg/m25402 (32.2)1255 (31.3)32,215 (32.4)235,824 (27.7)
 Obese class 1, 30–34.9 kg/m22817 (16.8)762 (19.0)15,872 (16.0)140,595 (16.5)
 Obese class 2, 35–39.9 kg/m21125 (6.7)377 (9.4)6099 (6.1)72,114 (8.5)
 Obese class 3, ≥40.0 kg/m2699 (4.2)229 (5.7)4011 (4.0)67,012 (7.9)
 Missing166 (1.0)45 (1.1)905 (0.9)8753 (1.0)
Serum albumin, n (%)<0.001
 ≥3 g/dl8793 (52.5)2049 (51.1)48,927 (49.2)386,216 (45.4)
 <3 g/dl5645 (33.7)1001 (24.9)26,481 (26.6)252,890 (29.7)
 Missing2323 (13.9)963 (24.0)24,028 (24.2)212,227 (24.9)
Primary renal disease, n (%)<0.001
 Diabetes mellitus8128 (48.5)2103 (52.4)41,434 (41.7)391,876 (46.0)
 Hypertension4282 (25.6)1039 (25.9)32,066 (32.3)234,651 (27.6)
 GN1197 (7.1)267 (6.7)6976 (7.0)63,851 (7.5)
 Acute tubular necrosis409 (2.4)67 (1.7)2900 (2.9)19,734 (2.3)
 Other renal disease1928 (11.5)398 (9.9)11,838 (11.9)107,799 (12.7)
 Missing817 (4.9)139 (3.5)4222 (4.3)33,422 (3.9)
Comorbid conditions, n (%)
 Cardiac7680 (45.8)1868 (46.6)57,820 (58.2)390,671 (45.9)<0.001
 Stroke/transient ischemic attack1795 (10.7)406 (10.1)11,562 (11.6)79,404 (9.3)<0.001
 Peripheral vascular disease2455 (14.7)627 (15.6)19,479 (19.6)118,104 (13.9)<0.001
 Hypertension14,249 (85.0)3444 (85.8)81,066 (81.5)698,893 (82.1)<0.001
 Diabetes mellitus10,137 (60.5)2586 (64.4)53,641 (54.0)484,518 (56.9)<0.001
 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease1643 (9.8)449 (11.2)12,668 (12.7)67,973 (8.0)<0.001
 Malignancy1518 (9.1)278 (7.0)10,421 (10.5)53,995 (6.3)<0.001
 Smoking1598 (9.5)507 (12.6)5585 (5.6)47,680 (5.6)<0.001
 Alcohol abuse591 (3.5)140 (3.5)1546 (1.6)12,203 (1.4)<0.001
 Illicit drug use615 (3.7)83 (2.1)703 (0.7)10,308 (1.2)<0.001
 Inability to walk or transfer945 (5.6)190 (4.7)5826 (5.9)49,399 (5.8)0.02
Prior nephrology care, n (%)b<0.001
 None1817 (23.9)556 (23.1)12,004 (26.8)124,127 (31.6)
 <6 mo775 (10.2)304 (12.6)5295 (11.8)43,338 (11.0)
 6–12 mo1946 (25.6)601 (25.0)10,351 (23.1)88,914 (22.6)
 >12 mo2330 (30.6)678 (28.2)12,169 (27.2)90,014 (22.9)
 Missing739 (9.7)267 (11.1)4908 (11.0)47,054 (12.0)
Risk quintile, n (%)<0.001
 1 (low risk)2848 (17.0)972 (24.4)11,824 (11.9)177,988 (21.0)
 24126 (24.7)1118 (28.1)15,261 (15.4)173,126 (20.4)
 33979 (23.8)895 (22.5)20,319 (20.5)168,438 (19.9)
 43250 (19.4)589 (14.8)25,770 (26.0)164,022 (19.3)
 5 (high risk)2515 (15.0)411 (10.3)25,956 (26.2)164,749 (19.4)
  • Values expressed with a plus/minus sign are the mean±SD.BMI, body mass index; VA, Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • a Data were missing for 3385 patients (0.3%).

  • b Data were only collected on the 448,187 patients who initiated dialysis after June 1, 2005