Rural Versus Urban Health Service Utilization and Outcomes for Renal Patients in New South Wales: Protocol for a Data Linkage Study

Sradha Kotwal, Angela Webster, Alan Cass, Martin Gallagher

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    Background: Kidney disease is a significant burden on health systems globally, with the rising prevalence of end stage kidney disease in Australia mirrored in many other countries. Approximately 25% of the Australian population lives in regional and rural areas and accessing complex tertiary services is challenging.

    Objective: We aim to compare the burden and outcomes of chronic kidney disease and end stage kidney disease in rural and urban regions of New South Wales (Australia’s most populous state)using linked health data.

    Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study and we have defined two cohorts: one with end stage kidney disease and one with chronic kidney disease. The end stage kidney disease cohort was defined using the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry,identifying all patients living in NSW receiving renal replacement therapy at any time between 01/07/2000 and 31/07/2010. The chronic kidney disease cohort used the NSW Admitted Patient Data Collection (APDC) to identify patients with a diagnostic code relating to chronic renal failure during any admission between 01/07/2000 and 31/07/2010. Both cohorts were linked to the NSW APDC,the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and the Central Cancer Registry allowing derivation of outcomes by categories of geographical remoteness.

    Results: To date, we have identified 10,505 patients with 2,384,218 records in the end stage kidney disease cohort and 159,033 patients with 1,599,770 records in the chronic kidney disease cohort.

    Conclusions: This study will define the geographical distribution of end stage and chronic kidney disease and compare the health service utilization between rural and urban renal populations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere73
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalJMIR Research Protocols
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


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