Table 1.

Pre-ESRD hypoalbuminemia, hematocrit <28%, and EPO use among patients beginning dialysis in the United Statesa

CharacteristicHypoalbuminemiab (n = 74,232)Hematocrit <28% (n = 131,484)EPO Use
Hematocrit <28% (n = 66,669)Hematocrit ≥28% (n = 64,803)
a155,076 patients who began dialysis between April 1, 1995 and June 30, 1997. ESRD, end-stage renal disease; EPO, erythropoietin.
bHypoalbuminemia was defined as serum albumin below the lower limit of normal recorded in the HCFA 2728 Form in each patient.
cIncludes retired due to age/preference, retired due to disability, and medical leave of absence.
Age group (yr)
18 to 2453%68%17%25%
25 to 3458%62%18%24%
35 to 4460%56%18%25%
45 to 5462%54%20%26%
55 to 6462%52%21%27%
65 to 7459%47%21%28%
75 to 8459%45%22%27%
85+62%44%21%26%
Gender
male57%49%19%24%
female63%53%21%30%
Race
Caucasian58%46%23%28%
African-American63%59%16%23%
other63%55%21%27%
Insurance status
private55%49%24%31%
Medicare only62%50%19%24%
Medicaid only66%59%17%22%
Medicare and Medicaid67%53%20%26%
Veterans Affairs and other insurance(s)58%46%23%29%
none63%62%13%16%
Employment status
employed/student/homemaker56%53%21%29%
unemployed65%57%17%22%
otherc60%47%22%27%
Cause of ESRD
diabetic nephropathy67%50%22%29%
hypertension52%49%18%23%
glomerulonephritis57%54%22%30%
other55%51%19%25%
Ability to transfer
yes60%51%20%27%
no81%50%17%20%
Ability to ambulate
yes59%51%21%27%
no76%50%18%22%
Initial dialysis modality
hemodialysis62%52%19%25%
peritoneal dialysis48%42%29%36%
Dialysis start (year)
199558%52%19%25%
199660%51%21%27%
199762%49%22%28%