Racial differences in choice of dialysis modality for children with end-stage renal disease

Susan L. Furth, Neu R. Powe, Wenke Hwang, Alicia M. Neu, Barbara A. Fivush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective. Black-white disparities in the use of specific medical and surgical services have been reported in adult populations. Such disparities are not well documented in children. We sought to determine whether racial disparities in the use of medical services exist among children with chronic illness who have similar health insurance, specifically the choice of dialysis modality for individuals with end-stage renal disease. Design. National cross-sectional study. Setting. Outpatient dialysis facilities throughout the United States. Patients and Participants. All Medicare-eligible children (age, -19 years) undergoing renal replacement therapy in 1990 in the United States, using data from the Medicare ESRD registry. Outcome Measures. The odds of receiving hemodialysis versus peritoneal dialysis according to race. Adjustment was made for differences in age, gender, cause, and duration of end-stage renal disease, income, education, and facility chracteristics using multiple logistic regression. Results. In 1990, 870 white and 368 black children received chronic (>1 year) renal replacement therapy in the United States. In bivariate analysis, blacks were two times (odds ratio [OR], 2.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7, 2.8) more likely than whites to receive hemodialysis versus peritoneal dialysis. After controlling for other patient and facility characteristics in multivariate analysis, black children were still significantly more likely than white children to receive hemodialysis (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.7, 3.5). Conclusions. Black race is strongly associated with the use of hemodialysis in children. Family, patient, or provider preferences could account for the difference in choice of therapy by race. Pediatrics 1997;99(4). URL: http://www.pediatrics.Org/cgi/content/fulI/99/4/e6; chronic renal failure, children; racial disparities, peritoneal dialysis, health insurance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594
Number of pages1
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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