The current growth in end-stage kidney disease populations has led to increased efforts to understand the impact of status at dialysis initiation on long-term outcomes. Our main objective was to improve the understanding of current Canadian nephrology practice between October 1998 and December 1999.
Fifteen nephrology centers in 7 provinces participated in a prospective data collection survey. The main outcome of interest was the clinical status at dialysis initiation determined by: residual kidney function, preparedness for chronic dialysis as measured by presence or absence of permanent peritoneal or hemodialysis access, hemoglobin and serum albumin. Uremic symptoms at dialysis initiation were also recorded, however, in some cases these symptom data were obtained retrospectively.
Data on 251 patients during 1-month periods were collected. Patients commenced dialysis at mean calculated creatinine clearance levels of approximately 10 ml/min, with an average of 3 symptoms. 35% of patients starting dialysis had been known to nephrologists for less than 3 months. These patients are more likely to commence without permanent access and with lower hemoglobin and albumin levels. Even of those known to nephrologists, only 66% had permanent access in place.
Patients commencing dialysis in Canada appear to be doing so in relative concordance with published guidelines with respect to timing of initiation. Despite an increased awareness of kidney disease, a substantial number of patients continues to commence dialysis without previous care by a nephrologist. Of those who are seen by nephrologists, clinical and laboratory parameters are suboptimal according to current guidelines. This survey serves as an important baseline for future comparisons after the implementation of educational strategies for referring physicians and nephrologists.
We describe the prevalence of doctor-diagnosed arthritis and its impact on activities, work, and joint pain for 6 racial/ethnic groups: non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and multiracial or "other" respondents. We combined data from the 2002, 2003, and 2006 National Health Interview Survey (n = 85,784) and, after adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index, compared racial/ethnic differences. Arthritis-attributable activity limitation, arthritis-attributable work limitation, and severe joint pain were higher for non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and multiracial or other respondents with arthritis compared with non-Hispanic whites with arthritis. Our finding that arthritis disproportionately affects certain racial/ethnic minorities may be useful for planning interventions.
A new type of method for surveying alcoholism and alcohol-abuse was tested in a way designed to cover about 20% of adults in a town of 50 000. The method proved able to identify types of alcohol-abuser which other survey techniques have difficulty with; it made no undue demands on respondents; and it is much more economical than conventional household surveys. However, more work is still needed on it, and for certain types of information the customary self-report is still going to be required.
The authors present the process of setting up a mental health inquiry. The "Enquête Santé Québec" was conducted at the request of the Ministry of Social Affairs in order to identify the problems, needs and priority intervention sectors in the health field. The inquiry was carried out on a large scale at the pilot stage, collecting information on 4,000 people in rural and urban areas. The principal options chosen are briefly discussed: type of mental health to be measured, sample methods, choice of instruments, validation work and some results.