Kidney disease patients with poor quality of life are at increased risk of experiencing progression of their disease and of developing heart problems, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). The findings suggest that quality of life measurements may have important prognostic value in these individuals.

Quality of life has been well-studied in patients with end-stage renal disease, but not in patients with CKD who do not yet require dialysis, according to background information in the study. To gain a better understanding of quality of life among such patients, Anna Porter, MD, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and her colleagues studied 1,091 African Americans with hypertensive CKD enrolled in the African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension Trial and Cohort Studies. The researchers assessed health-related quality of life, including mental and physical health, through surveys.


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During approximately 10 years of follow-up, lower physical and mental health scores were linked with increased risks of experiencing cardiovascular events or dying from heart-related causes as well as with experiencing progression of CKD or dying from kidney-related causes.

“Quality of life is extremely important to patients and is impacted by kidney disease,” said Porter. “In order to better serve our patients, physicians need to gain a better understanding of the negative impact that kidney disease has on quality of life, and to recognize the association between quality of life and other outcomes.”

Study co-authors include Michael Fischer, MD, Xuelei Wang, Deborah Brooks, Marino Bruce, PhD, Jeanne Charleston, William Cleveland, MD, Donna Dowie, MD, Marquetta Faulkner, MD, Jennifer Gassman, PhD, Leena Hiremath, PhD, Cindy Kendrick, John W. Kusek, PhD, Keith C. Norris, MD, Denyse Thornley-Brown, MD, Tom Greene, PhD, and James Lash, MD.

The article, entitled “Quality of Life and Outcomes in African Americans with CKD,” will appears online at jasn.asnjournals.org