General medical care among patients with chronic kidney disease: Opportunities for improving outcomes

Annamaria T. Kausz, Haifeng Guo, Brian J G Pereira, Allan J. Collins, David T. Gilbertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Suboptimal health care during advancing chronic kidney disease (CKD) may result in greater morbidity and cost once dialysis is started and may preclude future transplantation. Medicare data were examined for the prevalence of selected general health, diabetes, and CKD interventions in a national cohort of patients in the 2 yr before dialysis initiation and compared with a contemporaneous non-CKD cohort. A total of 24,778 individuals who were aged ≥67 yr composed the CKD cohort, and 1,046,136 individuals who were aged ≥67 yr did not have CKD. Among patients with diabetes and CKD, fewer than two thirds had claims for eye examinations, 75% for HbA1C testing, and 68% for lipid testing, with similar proportions in the non-CKD cohort. Among those without diabetes, 47 and 54% of the CKD and non-CKD cohorts, respectively, had claims for lipid testing. Fewer than 50 and 15% had claims for influenza and pneumococcal vaccination, respectively, with slightly lower proportions among patients with CKD. Claims for cancer tests were found for 14 to 41% and 29 to 52% of individuals with and without CKD, respectively, depending on the type of cancer. A greater proportion of patients with diabetes tended to have claims for tests in both cohorts. In the CKD cohort, claims for anemia testing and parathyroid hormone levels were available in fewer than 50 and 15%, respectively, and claims for permanent vascular access were found for only 30% of hemodialysis patients. This study provides further evidence that patients with CKD may not be receiving general health and CKD care according to current recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3092-3101
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2005


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