Table 1.

Baseline characteristics of veterans receiving at least one dialysis treatment through Veterans Health Administration–financed community-based dialysis (n=24,870)

Veteran Baseline CharacteristicsPreperiod 2006–2008, n=6240Interim Period 2009–2010, n=5409Postperiod 2011–2016, n=13,221Total, n=24,870
Mean or FrequencySD or %Mean or FrequencySD or %Mean or FrequencySD or %Mean or FrequencySD or %
Age, yr6311641165106411
Gagne comorbidity scorea2.652.132.782.233.212.362.972.29
Mortality scoreb0.110.070.110.070.110.070.110.07
Men61399853019812,8939824,33398
Race
 White, non-Hispanic35055630115675645714,08057
 Black210834181334432733824833
 Hispanic483846691036819858
 Other1442119229425572
Medicaid8171373114182314337114
VA reliance
 No VA3546260536739814
 0%–50%6731158611145511271411
 >50%52138445638411,3998621,17585
Distance from home to nearest VAMC with outpatient dialysis ≤30 miles28144524504556844310,94844
eGFR, mL/mn/1.73 m2
 <1028004521183956604310,57843
 10–1526254223714453954110,39142
 >158151392017216616390116
BMI, kg/m2
 <18.51833144332226493
 18.5–24178029139926344826662727
 25–29201532160630385229747330
 >2922623622604255994210,12141
Primary cause
 Diabetes32375227565166275012,62051
 Hypertension159526145927368728674127
 GN48183897833617037
 Other/uncertain9271580515207416380615
Previous nephrology care40946634416484496415,98464
First access type
 Arterial venous fistula/graft159626135925337726633225
 Catheter42746837617087816616,81668
 Other/uncertain370628951063817227
PTSD390638471169919438
Severe mental illnessc1583159343937563
Depression8611491817260820438718
  • VA, Veterans Health Administration; VAMC, Veterans Health Administration Medical Center; BMI, body mass index; PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • a Weighted score computed from Medicare, VA, and Fee Basis Claims in the year prior to starting dialysis.

  • b Predicted risk of death within 1 year of starting dialysis.

  • c Bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.