Table 1.

Baseline characteristics of 68,727 veterans who initiated dialysis between October of 2007 and March of 2014, according to dialysis provider at initiation

VariablesVHANon-VHAAll Patients
N758461,14368,727
Age, yr (mean±SD)65±1172±1172±11
Women, %184 (2)3546 (6)3730 (5)
Race, %
 White3983 (53)45,184 (74)49,167 (71)
 Black3201 (42)13,025 (21)16,226 (24)
 Other400 (5)2934 (5)3334 (5)
Ethnicity, %
 Hispanic668 (9)3525 (6)4193 (6)
Marital status, %
 Single970 (13)3621 (6)4591 (7)
 Married3268 (43)37,093 (61)40,361 (59)
 Divorced2613 (34)10,863 (18)13,476 (20)
 Widowed722 (10)6400 (10)7122 (11)
 Missing or other11 (0.2)3166 (5)3177 (5)
Income, %
 SES level 1, <$35,0001514 (21)8947 (15)10,461 (16)
 SES level 2, $35,000 to <$55,0003338 (45)29,776 (50)33,114 (50)
 SES level 3, ≥$55,0002490 (34)20,575 (35)23,065 (34)
Geographic region, %
 Northeast1109 (15)10,699 (18)11,808 (17)
 Midwest1438 (19)14,155 (23)15,593 (23)
 South3163 (42)25,694 (42)28,857 (42)
 West1826 (24)10,002 (17)11,828 (17)
Zip code distance to provider, %
 <10 miles3047 (41)42,102 (69)45,149 (66)
Cause of ESKD, %
 Diabetes3651 (48)25,956 (42)29,607 (43)
 Hypertension1600 (21)20,476 (33)22,076 (32)
 GN/cystic kidney disease767 (10)3910 (6)4677 (8)
 Other or unknown1566 (21)10,801 (17)12,367 (18)
Charlson comorbidity indexa3 (2–5)4 (2–6)4 (2–6)
Comorbidity, %
 Heart disease5404 (71)49,358 (81)54,762 (80)
 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease2350 (31)27,770 (45)30,120 (44)
 Liver disease941 (12)6383 (9)7324 (11)
 Diabetes5255 (69)40,929 (67)46,184 (67)
 Cancer1522 (20)15,820 (26)17,342 (25)
 Anemia5148 (68)44,383 (73)49,531 (72)
 Depression2120 (28)12,686 (21)14,806 (22)
 Post-traumatic stress disorder1128 (15)4192 (7)5320 (8)
 Homelessness1817 (24)4871 (8)6688 (10)
 Service connected3680 (48)18,566 (30)22,246 (32)
 Alcohol dependence315 (4)1042 (2)1357 (2)
 Current tobacco use784 (11)3753 (6)4537 (7)
 Drug dependence347 (5)545 (1)892 (1)
Dialysis modality, %
 Hemodialysis7255 (96)57,366 (94)64,621 (94)
Access type, %
 AV fistula or AV graft2066 (27)12,201 (20)14,267 (21)
 Central venous catheter4886 (64)43,917 (72)48,803 (71)
 Missing or other632 (8)5025 (8)5657 (8)
eGFR at initiation, ml/min per 1.73 m29.3±5.610.9±6.110.8±6.0
Body mass index at initiation, kg/m228.8±7.128.4±6.828.4±6.9
Albumin at initiation, g/dl3.2±0.73.2±0.73.2±0.7
Hemoglobin at initiation, g/dl9.7±1.69.9±1.69.9±1.6
Initiated dialysis in the hospital, %4216 (55)32,272 (53)36,488 (53)
VHA usage in year before ESKD
 VHA pharmacy usage, %7486 (99)35,564 (58)43,050 (63)
 VHA outpatient usage, %7485 (99)38,280 (63)45,765 (67)
 Frequency of VHA outpatient visitsa32 (20–48)3 (0–16)4 (0–22)
  • VHA, Veterans Health Administration; SES, socioeconomic status; AV, arteriovenous.

  • a Data presented as median (interquartile range).