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      Health-Related Quality of Life of Hemodialysis Patients in Taiwan: A Multicenter Study

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          Background/Aims: Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important determinant of treatment effectiveness in dialysis patients. To our knowledge, there are no reports evaluating HRQOL of hemodialysis (HD) in Chinese patients. The purpose of this study is to present our results about HRQOL using the 36-Item Short-Form (SF-36) questionnaire on Taiwanese hemodialysis patients. Methods: HRQOL was measured by using the SF-36 questionnaire in 497 HD patients in five hospitals. Results: The following attributes, male gender, age <50 years old, higher education level (HEL), marriage status, employment status (EPS), less comorbid medical condition (CMC), and non-diabetic patients (NDP) were all predicted on a better Physical Component Scale (PCS). Age <50 years old, body mass index >18.5, HEL, EPS and NDP were all predicted on a higher Mental Component Scale (MCS). Scales contributing to a summary measure of physical health, the PCS score was significantly lower in women (35.0 ± 12.3) than in men (37.9 ± 12.3). However, there was no difference in the MCS score between women and men. In multivariate analysis, age, CMC, diabetes, serum creatinine (SCr), and erythropoietin responsiveness were significant independent predictors of PCS. Diabetes, educational level, SCr, and erythropoietin responsiveness were significant independent predictors of MCS. All of the individual scales were lower in Taiwanese HD patients than in both the general Taiwanese and US population. Each of the individual scales and MCS scores were substantially lower in the Taiwan HD group than in the US HD cohort. However, the bodily pain of PCS was significantly higher in the Taiwan HD group, although the mean PCS scores for the Taiwan HD group and the US HD study participants were nearly equal at 36.3 and 36.1, respectively. Conclusion: The physical and mental aspects of quality of life are substantially lower for Taiwanese HD patients, except for higher bodily pain tolerance. A number of demographic and clinical characteristics have a significant impact on HRQOL in Taiwanese HD patients.

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          Most cited references 16

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          The urea reduction ratio and serum albumin concentration as predictors of mortality in patients undergoing hemodialysis.

          Among patients with end-stage renal disease who are treated with hemodialysis, solute clearance during dialysis and nutritional adequacy are determinants of mortality. We determined the effects of reductions in blood urea nitrogen concentrations during dialysis and changes in serum albumin concentrations, as an indicator of nutritional status, on mortality in a large group of patients treated with hemodialysis. We analyzed retrospectively the demographic characteristics, mortality rate, duration of hemodialysis, serum albumin concentration, and urea reduction ratio (defined as the percent reduction in blood urea nitrogen concentration during a single dialysis treatment) in 13,473 patients treated from October 1, 1990, through March 31, 1991. The risk of death was determined as a function of the urea reduction ratio and serum albumin concentration. As compared with patients with urea reduction ratios of 65 to 69 percent, patients with values below 60 percent had a higher risk of death during follow-up (odds ratio, 1.28 for urea reduction ratios of 55 to 59 percent and 1.39 for ratios below 55 percent). Fifty-five percent of the patients had urea reduction ratios below 60 percent. The duration of dialysis was not predictive of mortality. The serum albumin concentration was a more powerful (21 times greater) predictor of death than the urea reduction ratio, and 60 percent of the patients had serum albumin concentrations predictive of an increased risk of death (values below 4.0 g per deciliter). The odds ratio for death was 1.48 for serum albumin concentrations of 3.5 to 3.9 g per deciliter and 3.13 for concentrations of 3.0 to 3.4 g per deciliter. Diabetic patients had lower serum albumin concentrations and urea reduction ratios than nondiabetic patients. Low urea reduction ratios during dialysis are associated with increased odds ratios for death. These risks are worsened by inadequate nutrition.
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            Effect of malnutrition-inflammation complex syndrome on EPO hyporesponsiveness in maintenance hemodialysis patients.

            Elements of malnutrition-inflammation complex syndrome (MICS) may blunt the responsiveness of anemia of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) to recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO). The authors examined cross-sectional associations between the required dose of EPO within a 13-week interval as prescribed by practicing nephrologists who were blind to the study and several laboratory values known to be related to nutrition and/or inflammation, as well as the malnutrition-inflammation score (MIS), which is a fully quantitative assessment tool based on the subjective global assessment of nutrition. A total of 339 maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) outpatients, including 181 men, who were aged 54.7 +/- 14.5 years (mean +/- SD), who had undergone dialysis for 36.3 +/- 33.2 months, were selected randomly from 7 DaVita dialysis units in Los Angeles South/East Bay area. The average weekly dose of administered recombinant human EPO within a 13-week interval was 217 +/- 187 U/kg. Patients were receiving intravenous iron supplementation (iron gluconate or dextran) averaging 39.5 +/- 47.5 mg/wk. The MIS and serum concentrations of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and lactate dehydrogenase had positive correlation with required EPO dose and EPO responsiveness index (EPO divided by hemoglobin), whereas serum total iron binding capacity (TIBC), prealbumin and total cholesterol, as well as blood lymphocyte count had statistically significant but negative correlations with indices of refractory anemia. Most correlations remained significant even after multivariate adjustment for case-mix and anemia factors and other relevant covariates. Similar associations were noticed across EPO per body weight tertiles via analysis of variance and after estimating odds ratio for higher versus lower tertile via logistic regression after same case-mix adjustment. The existence of elements of MICS as indicated by a high MIS and increased levels of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 as well as decreased nutritional values such as low serum concentrations of total cholesterol, prealbumin, and TIBC correlates with EPO hyporesponsiveness in MHD patients.
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              The impact of socioeconomic status on health functioning as assessed by the SF-36 questionnaire: the Whitehall II Study.

              This study measured the association between socioeconomic status and the eight scale scores of the Medical Outcomes Study short form 36 (SF-36) general health survey in the Whitehall II study of British civil servants. It also assessed, for the physical functioning scale, whether this association was independent of disease. A questionnaire containing the SF-36 was administered at the third phase of the study to 5766 men and 2589 women aged 39 through 63 years. Socioeconomic status was measured by means of six levels of employment grades. There were significant improvements with age in general mental health, role-emotional, vitality, and social functioning scale scores. In men, all the scales except vitality showed significant age-adjusted gradients across the employment grades (lower grades, worse health). Among women, a similar relationship was found for the physical functioning, pain, and social functioning scales. For physical functioning, the effect of grade was found in those with and without disease. Low socioeconomic status was associated with poor health functioning, and the effect sizes were comparable to those for some clinical conditions. For physical functioning, this association may act both via and independently of disease.

                Author and article information

                Blood Purif
                Blood Purification
                S. Karger AG
                December 2004
                07 January 2005
                : 22
                : 6
                : 490-498
                Departments of Internal Medicine, aNational Taiwan University Hospital, bFar Eastern Memorial Hospital, cShin-Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, dCathay General Hospital, eEn Chu Kong Hospital, and fEmergency Medicine, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
                81730 Blood Purif 2004;22:490–498
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Tables: 9, References: 28, Pages: 9
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