The confluence of human genomics, environment, and determinants of health-related quality of life among African American hemodialysis patients

Soc Work Public Health. 2011;26(4):417-30. doi: 10.1080/19371918.2011.579505.


The intersection of human genome sequencing, environmental factors that lend to further understanding of the etiology of complex diseases, and components that constitute the health-related quality of life for African American hemodialysis patients are explored in this article. There are many renal diseases that have genetic components. Even though genetic polymorphisms and allelic variations can explain some of the etiology and disparities in disease susceptibility for African Americans, the role of the environment must also be considered. For African American hemodialysis patients, the environmental influences of religiosity and social support, along with genetic factors, affect their health-related quality of life. A study of 176 African American hemodialysis patients revealed that religiosity and social support had a significant impact on patient's health-related quality of life. Implications of the study mandate that social and behavioral researchers, who tend to focus on environmental issues, be given more freedom and latitude, along with genetic researchers, in designing and implementing studies involving genomic sequencing and the influence on health disparities among persons of African descent.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Base Sequence / genetics
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / genetics
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / psychology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Religion
  • Renal Dialysis / psychology*
  • Social Environment*
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires