Gender differences in the dialysis treatment of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians

Charlotte McKercher, Matthew D. Jose, Blair Grace, Philip A. Clayton, Maggie Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Access to dialysis treatment and the types of treatments employed in Australia differs by Indigenous status. We examined whether dialysis treatment utilisation in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians also differs by gender. Methods: Using registry data we evaluated 21,832 incident patients (aged ≥18 years) commencing dialysis, 2001–2013. Incidence rates were calculated and multivariate regression modelling used to examine differences in dialysis treatment (modality, location and vascular access creation) by race and gender. Results: Dialysis incidence was consistently higher in Indigenous women compared to all other groups. Compared to Indigenous women, both non-Indigenous women and men were more likely to receive peritoneal dialysis as their initial treatment (non-Indigenous women RR=1.91, 95%CI 1.55–2.35; non-Indigenous men RR=1.73, 1.40–2.14) and were more likely to commence initial treatment at home (non-Indigenous women RR=2.07, 1.66–2.59; non-Indigenous men RR=1.95, 1.56–2.45). All groups were significantly more likely than Indigenous women to receive their final treatment at home. Conclusions: Contemporary dialysis treatment in Australia continues to benefit the dominant non-Indigenous population over the Indigenous population, with non-Indigenous men being particularly advantaged. Implications for Public Health: Treatment guidelines that incorporate a recognition of gender-based preferences and dialysis treatment options specific to Indigenous Australians may assist in addressing this disparity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Feb 2017


  • Indigenous population
  • dialysis
  • end-stage kidney disease
  • gender
  • inequalities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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