What is DOPPS?

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DOPPS is an acronym which stands for “Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study.” It is one of the largest prospective study of ESRD patients worldwide and is comprised of a random sampling of dialysis patients in a random sampling of dialysis units in multiple countries, including the United States. DOPPS-related research has led to dozens of peer-reviewed publications and will undoubtedly involved in many more.

One example of the usefulness of DOPPS research has been settling the question of whether non-white minority groups do better on dialysis than whites. Multiple previous epidemiologic evidence had shown an apparent survival advantage of such minority groups compared to whites. However, using the DOPPS database and a careful multivariable proportional hazards analysis, researchers determined that in fact there is no significant survival advantage on dialysis for any major ethnic group; the reason that African-Americans appear to last longer while on dialysis than whites is in part explained by their lower age and decreased comorbidities upon starting dialysis.

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