Public Release: 

Racial disparities exist in end-of-life care for dialysis patients

American Society of Nephrology

IMAGE

IMAGE: African American, Native American, and Asian dialysis patients were 43 percent to 44 percent less likely than whites to use hospice before dying. Research that uncovered these disparities will be... view more

Credit: Foley

Highlights

  • African American, Native American, and Asian dialysis patients were 43% to 44% less likely than whites to use hospice before dying.

  • Research that uncovered these disparities will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2015 November 3-8 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA.

San Diego, CA (November 7, 2015) -- While end-of-life care in hospice settings is growing rapidly in the United States, substantial, unexplained racial disparities exist among dialysis patients. The findings come from a study that will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2015 November 3¬-8 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA.

While hospice is being used increasingly for end-of-life care in dialysis patients, it's unclear if racial disparities are present. To investigate, Robert Foley, MD (University of Minnesota) and his colleagues examined files from the United States Renal Data System to characterize end-of-life care for deaths occurring between 2006 and 2011 among dialysis patients.

During this 5-year period, the proportion of deaths in hospice increased from 14.7% to 24.2%, and use of hospice increased among all age groups. Hospice use varied substantially among races, though. Compared with whites, African Americans and Native Americans were 44% less likely to use hospice, and Asians were 43% less likely to do so.

"While increasingly considered as an option for end of care treatment in dialysis patients, racial disparities are profound," said Dr. Foley. "These findings highlight the need for high-quality research into the benefits, if any, of dialysis therapy in older and sicker segments of society."

###

Study: "Hospice and Race for End-of-Life Care in US Dialysis Patients" (Abstract SA-PO783)

Disclosures: Robert N. Foley is a consultant for and receives honoraria from Novartis, Fibrogen, Baxter, Satellite Health.

ASN Kidney Week 2015, the largest nephrology meeting of its kind, will provide a forum for more than 13,000 professionals to discuss the latest findings in kidney health research and engage in educational sessions related to advances in the care of patients with kidney and related disorders. Kidney Week 2015 will take place November 3-8, 2015 in San Diego, CA.

The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Founded in 1966, and with nearly 16,000 members, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) leads the fight against kidney disease by educating health professionals, sharing new knowledge, advancing research, and advocating the highest quality care for patients.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.