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BACKGROUND: Quality of life (QoL) is an important measure of disease burden and general health perception. The relationship between early chronic kidney disease (CKD) and QoL remains poorly understood. The Oxford Renal Study (OxRen) cohort comprises 1063 adults aged ≥60 years from UK primary care practices screened for early CKD, grouped according to existing or screen-detected CKD diagnoses, or biochemistry results indicative of reduced renal function (referred to as transient estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) reduction). OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to compare QoL in participants known to have CKD at recruitment to those identified as having CKD through a screening programme. METHODS: Health profile data and multi-attribute utility scores were reported for two generic questionnaires: 5-level EuroQol-5 Dimension (EQ-5D-5L) and ICEpop CAPability measure for Adults (ICECAP-A). QoL was compared between patients with existing and screen-detected CKD; those with transient eGFR reduction served as the reference group in univariable and multivariable linear regression. RESULTS: Mean and standard deviation utility scores were not significantly different between the subgroups for EQ-5D-5L (screen-detected:0.785±0.156, n = 480, transient:0.779±0.157, n = 261, existing CKD:0.763±0.171, n = 322, p = 0.216) or ICECAP-A (screen-detected:0.909±0.094, transient:0.904±0.110, existing CKD:0.894±0.115, p = 0.200). Age, smoking status, and number of comorbidities were identified as independent predictors of QoL in this cohort. CONCLUSION: QoL of participants with existing CKD diagnoses was not significantly different from those with screen-detected CKD or transient eGFR reduction and was similar to UK mean scores for the same age, suggesting that patient burden of early CKD is minor. Moreover, CKD-related comorbidities contribute more significantly to disease burden in earlier stages of CKD than renal function per se. Larger prospective studies are required to define the relationship between QoL and CKD progression more precisely. These data also confirm the essentially asymptomatic nature of CKD, implying that routine screening or case finding are required to diagnose it.

Original publication




Journal article


PloS one

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