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In a 1991 prospective evaluation of infections and catheters in Network 9 (Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio), detailed demographic questionnaires on 1930 patients were examined, with special attention to practice management and comparisons between black and white patients. In Network 9, 18.2% of peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients were black compared to 22.6% in the USRDS, and 3.7% of PD patients were black and more than 65 years of age, compared to 3.7% in the USRDS. Statistically significant associations were found in the Network 9 data base. Blacks were less likely than whites to be under 16 years or over 65 years of age, to add insulin to bag, to have nasal cultures performed, to have received previous immunosuppression, to wear exit-site dressings, and to do their own tubing changes. Blacks are more likely than whites to be independent (not age-related), ambulatory (not age-related), to have had previous peritonitis, surgical catheter placement, and to do their own exchanges. There were no differences regarding the number of training days and the use of disconnect or other exchange systems or cyclers.