Health-Related Quality of Life Varies Between Men, Women With Advanced Kidney Disease

Women had lower health-related quality of life at the beginning of the study, although men experienced a more rapid decline over time.

In a study of older men and women with advanced kidney disease, researchers found that women had lower health-related quality of life at the beginning, although men experienced a more rapid decline over time.

According to a press release from the American Society of Nephrology, researchers analyzed questionnaire responses from the European QUALity Study on treatment in advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD). The study included patients 65 years of age and older with advanced CKD who were not on dialysis and who were receiving routine medical care in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

“It is increasingly being accepted that the patient’s health-related quality of life is as equally important as other clinical outcomes when assessing a patient’s health status,” researcher Nicholas C. Chesnaye, PhD, from the Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, said in the press release. “Very few studies have investigated the interdependence of health-related quality of life and sex over time in older patients with advanced CKD. CKD is highly prevalent in this age group, and given the rising life expectancy, efforts to improve health-related quality of life in the elderly should remain in focus.”

Based on the responses from 1421 patients, researchers found that women had considerably lower average physical and mental health scores compared with men at the beginning of the study. During follow-up, however, both men’s physical and mental health scores declined approximately twice as quickly compared to women’s scores.

This difference was partially reduced after adjusting for factors such as kidney function decline. According to the researchers, this suggests an explanatory role for decreased function, which occurred at a faster rate for men in the study. Higher phosphate and lower hemoglobin levels in the blood as well as pre-existing diabetes were also associated with lower physical and mental health scores in men, but to a lesser extent in women.

“An understanding of the sex-specific health-related quality of life over the course of pre-dialysis CKD, as well as the potential mechanisms underlying any differences, may provide insights into a patient’s health and needs, and aid sex-specific clinical monitoring, decisions related to kidney replacement therapy, and patient-centered care,” Chesnaye said in the press release.

REFERENCE

Health-related Quality-of-Life Differences in Men and Women with Advanced Kidney Disease. News release. American Society of Nephrology; January 24, 2022. Accessed January 26, 2022. https://www.asn-online.org/about/press/releases/ASN_PR_20220124_CJASN.Release.Chesn.pdf