Newswise — Washington, DC (April 15, 2021, 5:00 pm ET) — A new study estimates the years of employment loss experienced by working-aged adults with kidney failure. The study, which will appear in an upcoming issue of CJASN, notes that most of this lost time is due to patients’ loss of life expectancy.

Individuals with kidney failure who are undergoing long-term dialysis face many challenges that can negatively affect their employment and their ability to work. A team led by Chang-Ching Lin, PhD (National Cheng Kung University) examined aspects of lost employment among dialysis patients until 65 years of age.

The researchers analyzed information on patients initiating dialysis in Taiwan during 2000–2017. Among 83,358 patients with kidney failure under age 65 years, men had a higher rate of employment than women. The lifetime duration of lost employment for men with kidney failure was 11.8, 7.6, 5.7, 3.8, 2.3, 1.0, and 0.2 years for those in the age range of 25–34, 35–40, 41–45, 46–50, 51–55, 56–60, and 61–64 years, respectively, while that of women was 10.5, 10.1, 7.9, 5.6, 3.3, 1.5, and 0.3 years, respectively. 

Additional analyses revealed that the lower lifetime employment duration was mainly driven by patients’ loss of life expectancy. “This highlights the phenomenon that many patients with kidney failure in Taiwan remain as productive as those without kidney failure throughout their lifetime, and their contributions should be appreciated from a societal perspective,” said Dr. Lin.

An accompanying Patient Voice provides a personal account of how kidney failure and its treatment have affected the employment and family dynamics of one particular patient.

Study co-authors include Yu-Tzu Chang, MD, PhD, Fuhmei Wang, PhD, Wen-Yen Huang, MSc, Hsuan Hsiao, BA, and Jung-Der Wang, MD, ScD.

Disclosures: This study was financially supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in Taiwan with grant number: MOST 108-2627-M-006-001, but the funding agency had no role in the following: the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

The article, titled “Estimated Loss of Lifetime Employment Duration for Patients Undergoing Maintenance Dialysis in Taiwan,” will appear online at on April 15, 2021, doi: 10.2215/CJN.13480820.

The Patient Voice, titled “A Dialysis Patient’s View on Dialysis Employment Loss,” will appear online at on April 15, 2021, doi: 10.2215/CJN.03450321.

The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

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CJASN, doi: 10.2215/CJN.03450321.