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Kidney disease and care among First Nations people with diabetes in Ontario: a population-based cohort study

Nash DM, Dirk JS, McArthur E, Green ME, Shah BR, Walker JD, Beaucage M, Jones CR, Garg AX. CMAJ Open. 7(4):E706-12. Epub 2019 Dec 10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.9778/cmajo.20190164


Background — End-stage kidney disease is a serious complication of diabetes. We describe the prevalence of chronic kidney disease, prevalence and incidence of end-stage kidney disease and quality of care of early-stage chronic kidney disease for First Nations people with diabetes compared to other Ontarians with diabetes.

Methods — We conducted a retrospective cohort study in Ontario using linked administrative data at ICES. We included adults with incident diabetes between 1994 and 2014, and used laboratory values to identify kidney disease and quality indicators for care for early-stage disease. We compared measures in First Nations people to those in other people in Ontario, and used direct age and sex standardization. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to compare the incidence of end-stage kidney disease between groups.

Results — Our study included 21 968 First Nations people with diabetes. The age- and sex-standardized prevalence of chronic kidney disease was higher for First Nations people than for other Ontarians (20.7% v. 18.4%), as was the prevalence of end-stage kidney disease (2.9% v. 1.0%). The incidence of end-stage kidney disease was higher among First Nations people than among other people in Ontario (9.3 v. 4.7 events per 10 000 person-years; age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratio 2.23, 95% confidence interval 1.72–2.89). The 2 groups were similarly likely to receive recommended medications, but First Nations people were less likely to receive laboratory tests for their kidney disease.

Interpretation — Despite receiving similar quality of care for early-stage kidney disease, First Nations people with diabetes had higher rates of end-stage kidney disease than other Ontarians. Further research is needed to better understand contributing factors to help inform future interventions.

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