Healthcare claims data may provide a cost-efficient approach for studying chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Prospective cohort study.
Setting & Participants
We compared characteristics and outcomes for individuals with CKD defined using laboratory measurements versus claims data from 6,982 Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study participants who had Medicare fee-for-service coverage.
Presence of CKD as defined by both the REGARDS Study (CKDREGARDS) and Medicare data (CKDMedicare), absence of CKD as defined by both, presence of CKDREGARDS but not CKDMedicare, and presence of CKDMedicare but not CKDREGARDS.
Mortality and incident end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
The research study definition of CKD (CKDREGARDS) included estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) < 60 ml/min/1.73m2 or albumin-creatinine ratio (ACR) > 30 mg/g at the REGARDS study visit. CKD in Medicare (CKDMedicare) was identified during the two years before each participant’s REGARDS visit using a claims-based algorithm.
Overall, 32% of participants had CKDREGARDS and 6% had CKDMedicare. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of CKDMedicare for identifying CKDREGARDS were 15.5% (95% CI, 14.0%–17.1%), 97.7% (95% CI, 97.2%–98.1%), 75.6% (95% CI, 71.4%–79.5%), and 71.5% (95% CI, 70.4%–72.6%), respectively. Mortality and ESRD incidence rates, expressed per 1,000 person-years, were higher for participants with versus without CKDMedicare (mortality: 72.5 [95% CI, 61.3–83.7] versus 33.3 [95% CI, 31.5–35.2]; ESRD: 16.4 [95% CI, 11.2–21.6] versus 1.3 [95% CI, 0.9–1.6]) and with versus without CKDREGARDS (mortality: 59.9 [95% CI, 55.4–64.4] versus 25.5 [95% CI, 23.6–27.4]; ESRD: 6.8 [95% CI, 5.4–8.3] versus 0.1 [95% CI, 0.0–0.3]). Among participants with CKDREGARDS, those with abdominal obesity, diabetes, anemia, a lower eGFR, more outpatient visits, a hospitalization and a nephrologist visit in the two years before their REGARDS visit were more likely to have CKDMedicare.
CKDREGARDS relied on eGFR and albuminuria assessed at a single visit.
CKD, whether defined in claims or through research study measurements, was associated with increased mortality and ESRD. However, individuals with CKD identified in claims may represent a select high-risk population.