(HealthDay News) — The probability of employment has increased in recent years among patients initiating dialysis but is still low, according to a study published online in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Kevin F. Erickson, MD, from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues used data from a national end-stage renal disease (ESRD) registry to examine employment trends over time among patients aged 18 to 54 years who initiated dialysis between 1996 and 2013.

The researchers found that the employment rate was 23 to 24% among patients starting dialysis throughout the study period; 38% of patients who were employed 6 months before ESRD stopped working by initiation of dialysis. The probability of employment increased over time after adjustment for observed characteristics; compared with patients starting dialysis between 1996 and 2001, those starting dialysis between 2008 and 2013 had a 4.7% increase in the absolute probability of employment at the start of dialysis. Compared with other patients starting dialysis, black and Hispanic patients were less likely to be employed; this gap narrowed during the study period.

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“Although working-aged patients in the United States starting dialysis have experienced increases in the adjusted probability of employment over time, employment at the start of dialysis has remained low,” the authors write.

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Erickson KF, Zhao B, Ho V, and Winkelmayer WC. Employment among Patients Starting Dialysis in the United States. Clin J Assoc Nephrol. doi: 10.2215/​CJN.06470617 [Published online January 2018] 

Hallab A and Wish JB. Employment among Patients on Dialysis: An Unfulfilled Promise. Clin J Assoc Nephrol. doi: 10.2215/CJN.13491217 [Published online January 2018]