PURPOSE: Quality of life (QOL) and physical activity (PA) is reduced in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The aim was to investigate the impact of marital status and educational level on QOL and PA in patients with CKD including dialysis treatment.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study included ambulatory adult patients undergoing dialysis or CKD stage 4-5. Data for marital status, educational level and PA were obtained using the Danish health and Morbidity Survey. QOL was assessed using the Physical Component Scale and the Mental Component Scale scores from the Kidney Disease Quality of Life Instrument.
RESULTS: Five hundred twelve participants were included: 316 (62%) were married/had a permanent partner, 119 (23%) had a low level of education, 327 (67%) were physically active. After confounder adjustments (age, sex, treatment), having a permanent partner was associated with greater scores in Mental Component Scale, β 2.88 [CI 95% 0.99; 4.77], p = 0.003, and being physically active in women OR 2.237 [1.231; 4.066], p = 0.008. A high vs low educational level was associated with greater scores in Physical Component Scale (3.79 [1.01; 6.58], p = 0.008) and in Mental Component Scale (3.55 [0.82; 6.28], p = 0.011).
CONCLUSION: In ambulatory patients with CKD stage 4-5, being married or having a permanent partner and a high educational level had positive impacts on mental QOL. Higher educational level was also associated with better physical QOL. The presented inequality in QOL should be considered in communications, care and treatments in clinical practice.