Health-related quality of life in children with chronic kidney disease is affected by the number of medications.

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DOI: 10.1007/s00467-021-04919-x


Introduction: The number of medications could serve as a surrogate for burden of care at home and may affect health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Methods: Using baseline data from the Chronic Kidney Disease in Children (CKiD) Study, we modeled HRQoL scores, self-reported by the child (if ≥ 8 years old) and/or caregiver (all children) on unique counts and administrations of CKD- and non-CKD-related medications, using multivariate linear regression. Heterogeneity of associations between HRQoL and medication burden by age group (≥ 8 vs. < 8 years old) were explored.

Results: 734 participants median age 11 years, disease duration 8 years, median eGFR 53 mL/min/1.73 m2, 61% male, 22% African-American, 31% glomerular disease were prescribed median 3 unique CKD-related medications. Regarding HRQoL assessment, 201 children were < 8 years old and had only parent-proxy HRQoL score; 533 children ≥ 8 years of age had both child and parent-proxy scores. Overall, parents of children < 8 years old reported higher HRQoL scores than parents of older children: 84 vs. 76. However, in a unified multivariate regression model, HRQoL scores of children < 8 years showed greater decreases as the number of CKD-related medications increased compared to scores for children ≥ 8 years old.

Conclusion: Average HRQoL scores reported by parents of younger CKD children were higher than those of older CKD children but decreased more with increased CKD medication counts than scores of older children. Considerations of HRQoL may be of particular importance for clinicians and caregivers when managing chronic disease comorbidities in younger children.

Journal Title

Pediatric nephrology (Berlin, Germany)





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CKD; Care burden; Health-related quality of life; Medication burden; Pediatrics

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