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November 23/30, 2011

Race, Age, and Mortality Among Patients Undergoing Dialysis

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Harold Simmons Center for Chronic Disease Research and Epidemiology, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA, Torrance, California (Ms Streja and Dr Molnar); and Salem VA Medical Center, Salem, Virginia (Dr Kovesdy) (csaba.kovesdy@va.gov).

JAMA. 2011;306(20):2215-2216. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1714

To the Editor: Ms Kucirka and colleagues found that black dialysis patients younger than 50 years had higher mortality than white dialysis patients of the same age group, whereas older black patients had lower mortality.1 However, the authors made no distinction between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white patients, and apparently both ethnic groups were collapsed into a single reference group for the sake of comparison with black patients. Hispanic patients make up close to one-fifth of the US dialysis population.2 The dialysis incidence rate in the Hispanic population is 1.5 times greater than among the non-Hispanic white population.2 Nonetheless, Hispanic dialysis patients have had better survival over the past several decades compared with non-Hispanic white patients, with a death rate of 180 per 1000 patient-years at risk compared with 207 per 1000 patient-years at risk for non-Hispanic white patients.2

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