United States Renal Data System (USRDS)

May 2019 Council

Lead Division/Office


Point(s) of Contact

Kevin C. Abbott, M.D., M.P.H.

Executive Summary

The USRDS is the premier renal registry in the world. It has been in existence since 1988 in response to Congressional legislation (OBRA 1986). It consists of a coordinating center and two special study centers (SSC) dealing with specific subject areas within the renal domain – palliative and end of life care and transitions of care, which address unique needs. Each year the USRDS publishes the Annual Data Report providing the latest incidence, prevalence, mortality, and cost data to the renal research community. Access to the standard analysis files are made available for 50-70 research projects per year conducted by researchers in the renal community. Dozens of papers are published annually in peer reviewed journals by USRDS and other researchers. At national meetings, such as the American Society of Nephrology, the introductory slides of many presentations include a citation to USRDS data, indicating its role as the primary reference for the epidemiology of chronic and end stage kidney disease. In addition, the USRDS supports the Healthy People 2030 renal objectives and is a primary source for the CDC Chronic Kidney Disease surveillance project. In addition, many investigators, and especially young investigators, rely on access to USRDS data for their primary research projects and to start their research careers. Many research mentors have used USRDS data in their research training programs to develop younger researchers.