Low income, obesity may worsen quality of life in patients with nephrolithiasis
Quality of life (QoL) tends to be lower among patients with kidney stones who are morbidly obese, unemployed or have low income, a recent study has shown.
“While clinical characteristics such as body mass and stone disease severity were also associated with health-related QoL, this study shows that socioeconomic factors are similarly important,” the investigators said.
In total, 2,057 stone formers completed the Wisconsin Stone Quality of Life (WISQOL) questionnaire. Lower income (β, 0.372; p=0.014), body mass index >40 kg/m2 (β, –0.380; p<0.001) and unemployed status (β, –0.291; p=0.008) were found to be independently associated with worse health-related QoL.
Apart from these factors, the following also correlated independently with significantly lower health-related QoL: female gender (β, –0.204; p<0.001), nonwhite race (β, –0.299; p=0.001), five or more medical comorbidities (β, –0.354; p=0.001), severe recurrent stone formation (β, –0.146; p=0.045), enrolment at an acute care visit or a preoperative or postoperative appointment (β, –0.548; p<0.001), and recent symptoms (β, –0.892; p<0.001).
“Further research to understand the specific mechanisms by which socioeconomic status and race impact health may lend insight into methods to optimize clinical treatment of stone formers and patients with other chronic diseases,” the investigators said.
This study administered the WISQOL to patients with stones at a total of 11 stone centres across the United States. Patient ZIP Code was used to estimate household income. A mixed effects regression model was generated for analysis, with ZIP Code as the random intercept.
“Kidney stones are a source of significant morbidity which have been shown to negatively impact health-related QoL,” the investigators noted.