The impact of chronic kidney disease on household income
Does health affect wealth?
Advanced stages of chronic kidney disease may cause considerable
financial strain for patients and their families.
To find out whether the severity of chronic kidney
disease and side-effects associated with the disease and its
treatment were associated with a fall into poverty, Associate
Professor Rachael Morton and her colleagues studied people
participating in the international Study of Heart and Renal
Protection (SHARP), who were followed up for a median of 5
Of the 2914 people with moderate to severe kidney
disease, 933 were in poverty at the time of screening and a further
436 (22% of the rest) had moved into poverty by the end of the
study. The severity of the disease (but not its side-effects) was a
significant predictor of a fall into poverty. People who received
kidney transplants were much less likely to fall into poverty.
Black ethnicity, low educational attainment, a single adult
household, and low income at the start of the study were also
linked with a fall into poverty.
"Patients in advanced stages of chronic kidney
disease are at an increased risk of falling into financial
hardship," the authors concluded. "Kidney transplantation may have
a role in reducing the risks of household poverty due to chronic
Professor Morton presented the study at Kidney
Week, the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology, in
She added: 'This study highlights the large
proportion of patients with CKD who are in financial hardship,
which is not restricted to people living in low- or middle-income
countries, but includes those living in relative poverty in high
income countries such as Australia. Successful kidney
transplantation may benefit not only the individual in terms of
their health and quality of life, but also the economic stability
of their household.'
9 Nov 2015