BACKGROUND: Frailty is associated with worse health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in older adults and worse clinical outcomes in adults of all ages with end stage renal disease (ESRD). It is unclear whether frail adults of all ages with ESRD are more likely to experience worse HRQOL. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to identify factors associated with worsening HRQOL in this population. DESIGN, SETTING AND MEASUREMENTS: We studied 233 adults of all ages with ESRD enrolled (11/2009-11/2013) in a longitudinal cohort study. Frailty status was measured at enrollment and HRQOL was reported (Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair or Poor) at the initial assessment and follow-up (median follow-up 9.4 months). We studied factors associated with Fair/Poor HRQOL at follow-up using logistic regression and factors associated with HRQOL change using multinomial regression. All models were adjusted for age, sex, race, education, BMI, diabetes status, history of a previous transplant, type of dialysis and time between assessments. RESULTS: Fair/Poor HRQOL was reported by 28% at initial assessment and 33% at follow-up. 47.2% of participants had stable HRQOL, 22.8% better HRQOL, and 30.0% worse HRQOL at follow-up (P<0.001). In adjusted models, only frailty was associated with Fair/Poor HRQOL at follow-up (OR: 2.79, 95% CI: 1.32-5.90) and worsening HRQOL at follow-up (RR: 2.91, 95%CI: 1.08-7.80). CONCLUSIONS: Frail adults of all ages with ESRD are more likely to experience fair/poor HRQOL and worsening HRQOL over time. Frailty represents a state of decreased physiologic reserve that impacts not only clinical outcomes but also the patient-centered outcome of HRQOL.
Keywords: End stage renal disease; frailty; Health-related quality of life.