Differences in quality of life between Jewish and Arab patients on hemodialysis

Orly Romano-Zelekha*, Eliezer Golan, Anneke Ifrah, Talia Weinstein, Tamy Shohat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Higher health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in dialysis patients has been associated with fewer hospitalizations and lower mortality. Since Arab patients on dialysis have better survival rates than Jewish patients, we hypothesized that they would have higher HRQOL. We also studied the impact of several risk factors on HRQOL in each population. Methods: Based on a national dialysis registry, patients from 64 hemodialysis units were recruited to participate. Patients who consented were interviewed face-to-face, using the Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form (KDQOL-SF36) questionnaire. Results: Five hundred and fifty-eight (50.6%) Jewish and 544 (49.4%) Arab patients participated in the study. For Arab patients mean crude scores for the “mental component summary” and KDQOL scores were significantly lower than for Jewish patients [31.6 (95% Cl 30.0–33.3) vs. 38.0 (95% Cl 36.1–39.9), p < 0.0001 and 55.6 (95% Cl 54.5–56.7) vs. 59.8 (95% Cl 58.6–60.9), p < 0.0001, respectively]. Much lower scores were observed for Arabs in the “emotional role” and “work status” subscales. The two populations had similar general health assessments and albumin level. For both, HRQOL was positively associated with higher educational level, higher albumin level, and dialysis connection by fistula or graft; and negatively associated with low income and diabetes. HRQOL was negatively associated with previous cerebrovascular accident among Arabs and with female gender among Jews. Conclusions: Differences between Jews and Arabs in subscales related to psychosocial factors suggest that cultural differences in the perceptions of sickness and health may be relevant here. Future studies should explore such possibility and focus on the large gap in the “work status” subscale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3343-3352
Number of pages10
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Arabs
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Health-related quality of life (HRQOL)
  • Hemodialysis
  • Jews
  • KDQOL-SF36
  • Quality of life


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