Variability in Reasons for Hemodialysis Catheter Use by Race, Sex, and Geography: Findings From the ESRD Clinical Performance Measures Project

Sari Hopson, Diane Frankenfield, Michael Rocco, William McClellan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Race, sex, and geographic differences in hemodialysis vascular access use have been reported, but differences in reasons for catheter use have not been assessed. Study Design: Cross-sectional. Setting & Participants: Data obtained from the 2005 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services End-Stage Renal Disease Clinical Performance Measures Project for adult hemodialysis patients. Predictors: Race, sex, and geographic region. Outcomes & Measurements: Reasons for catheter use were categorized as short term and long term. Race, sex, and geographic associations with reasons were assessed by using bivariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression. Results: Of 8,479 hemodialysis patients, 3,302 (39%) used a fistula, 2,725 (32%) used a graft, and 2,299 (27%) used a catheter. We placed 857 patients with a catheter (37%) in the short-term-reason cohort and 1,404 (61%) in the long-term-reason cohort, and 38 (2%) lacked information to be placed. Reasons for catheter use were independently associated with race, sex, and geographic region. Whites were 43%, 49%, and 34% less likely than African Americans to use a catheter because of graft maturation, graft interruption, and all vascular access sites exhausted and 70% and 40% more likely because of fistula maturation and no fistula or graft surgically planned, respectively. Men were 50% less likely than women to use a catheter because of graft interruption and 80% more likely because of fistula maturation. Geographic end-stage renal disease network was associated with catheter use because of fistula maturation (P = 0.03), no fistula or graft surgically created (P < 0.001), and no fistula or graft surgically planned (P = 0.05). Limitations: The cross-sectional study design precludes our ability to assess trends over time in reasons for catheter use. Associations were assessed for a limited set of variables. Conclusion: Race, sex, and geographic differences in reasons for hemodialysis catheter use exist. Understanding these differences may aid in developing strategies to decrease catheter initiation rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-760
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008



  • Hemodialysis
  • catheter
  • vascular access

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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