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Low-income kidney patients receive less pre-dialysis care

Category: Kidney Diseases

Low-income individuals who are at risk for renal disease may benefit from kidney testing before they start to notice symptoms. A new study has found that socio-economic factors impact the care a kidney patient receives before they are forced to start dialysis treatments.

Researchers from Emory University examined the medical records of 28,135 patients being treated for dialysis. Experts recommend that, before starting dialysis, kidney patients receive an arteriovenous fistula (AF), which creates a permanent connection in the arm through which blood can be removed and returned during dialysis.

However, researchers found that patients living in low-income areas were significantly less likely to receive an AF before starting dialysis.

"The community where a treatment center resides may contribute to variations in pre-dialysis care," said William McClellan, who led the study. "This observation provides support for developing ways to improve quality of care in these poorly performing communities and raises questions as to why poverty plays a role in pre-dialysis care."

He speculated that residents of low-income areas may not have as much knowledge about pre-dialysis care options.
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