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Family structure and patient survival in an African-American end-stage renal disease population: a preliminary investigation

  • Medicine


Few studies have examined the influence of the family on the course of chronic illness in African-Americans. We explore the relationship between family structure, defined as marital status and household composition, and patient survival. Patient gender was examined as a possible moderator in this relationship. Using data from a survey of 476 African-American end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients, a significant association between household composition and patient survival was found. Results from Cox proportional hazards model, controlling for patient age, indicated that patients who live in `complex' households (i.e. those with a partner and/or others) are at greater risk for shortened survival as compared to those who live alone or with a spouse/partner (p

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