Educational attainment is an important but often overlooked contributor to health outcomes in patients with kidney disease. Those with lower levels of education have an increased risk of ESRD, complications of peritoneal dialysis, worse transplant outcomes, and mortality. Mediators of these associations are poorly understood but involve a complex interplay between health knowledge, behaviors, and socioeconomic and psychosocial factors. Interventions targeting these aspects of care have the potential to reduce disparities related to educational attainment; however, few programs have been described that specifically address this issue. Future research efforts should not only systematically assess level of educational attainment but also report the differential impact of interventions across educational strata. In addition, routine measurement of health literacy may be useful to identify high-risk patients independent of years of schooling. A better understanding of the influence of educational attainment on kidney health provides an opportunity to improve the care and outcomes of vulnerable patients with kidney disease.
Copyright © 2015 National Kidney Foundation, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.