Mortality, health-related quality of life, and depression symptoms in younger and older men and women undergoing hemodialysis

Int J Artif Organs. 2023 Sep;46(8-9):492-497. doi: 10.1177/03913988231183724. Epub 2023 Jul 9.


Background and objective: Some studies on maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) patients report a longer survival, albeit with poorer health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and more depression symptoms in women than in men. Whether these gender differences vary with age is uncertain. We tested the associations of gender with mortality, depression symptoms, and HRQoL in MHD patients of different age groups.

Methods: We used data from 1504 adult MHD patients enrolled in the PROHEMO, a prospective cohort in Salvador, Brazil. The KDQOL-SF was used for the component summaries of the mental (MCS) and physical (PCS) HRQoL scales. Depression symptoms were assessed by the complete version of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Screening Index (CES-D). To test for gender differences, extensively adjusted linear models were used for depression and HRQoL scores, and Cox models for death hazard ratio (HR).

Results: Women reported worse HRQoL than men, particularly for ages ⩾60 years. In the age group ⩾60 years, the adjusted difference (AD) in score was -3.45; 95% CI: -6.81, -0.70 for MCS -3.16; -5.72, -0.60 for PCS. Older (⩾60 years) women also had more depression symptoms (AD 4.98; 2.33, 7.64). Mortality was slightly lower in women than in men with an adjusted HR of 0.89 (0.71, 1.11) and consistent across age categories.

Conclusions: In a sample of Brazilian MHD patients, women had a slightly lower mortality, albeit with more depression symptoms and poorer HRQoL than men, particularly among older patients. This study highlights the need to investigate gender inequalities for MHD patients across different cultures and populations.

Keywords: Hemodialysis; chronic kidney disease; depression; mortality; quality of life.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Depression* / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Sex Factors