Agnes Zsofia Kovacs

Semmelweis University, Budapeŝto, Budapest, Hungary

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Publications (11)43.89 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important outcome measure in patients with chronic kidney disease. It also has been shown repeatedly to predict mortality in various patient populations. In a prospective cohort study, we assessed the association between HRQoL and long-term clinical outcome in kidney transplant recipients. Prospective prevalent cohort study. We collected sociodemographic parameters, medical and transplant history, and laboratory data at baseline from 879 prevalent kidney transplant recipients (mean age, 49 ± 13 [standard deviation] years; 58% men; and 17% with diabetes mellitus). We assessed HRQoL using the KDQoL-SF (Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form) questionnaire and assessed depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale. All-cause mortality and death-censored transplant loss or death with functioning transplant. Cox regression models and semiparametric competing-risks regression analyses were used to measure associations between HRQoL scores and outcomes. Most examined HRQoL domains were associated with clinical outcome in unadjusted models. After adjusting for several important confounders, the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) Physical Composite Score and Physical Functioning and General Health Perception subscale scores remained independently associated with clinical outcomes. Every 10-point increase in SF-36 Physical Composite Score and Physical Functioning and General Health Perception scores was associated with 18% (HR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.71-0.95), 11% (HR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.84-0.94), and 7% lower risks of mortality (HR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.88-1.00), respectively. Single-center study. We showed that the SF-36 Physical Composite Score and Physical Functioning and General Health Perception KDQoL-SF domain scores are associated independently with increased risk of mortality in kidney transplant patients. Regular assessment of HRQoL may be a useful tool to inform health care providers about the prognosis of kidney transplant recipients. Additional studies are needed to assess whether interventions aimed at improving HRQoL would improve clinical outcomes in this patient population.
    American Journal of Kidney Diseases 06/2011; 58(3):444-52. DOI:10.1053/j.ajkd.2011.03.028 · 5.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Kidney transplantation is believed to improve health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients requiring renal replacement therapy (RRT). Recent studies suggested that the observed difference in HRQoL between kidney transplant recipients (Tx) vs patients treated with dialysis may reflect differences in patient characteristics. We tested if Tx patients have better HRQoL compared to waitlisted (WL) patients treated with dialysis after extensive adjustment for covariables. Eight hundred and eighty-eight prevalent Tx patients followed at a single outpatient transplant clinic and 187 WL patients treated with maintenance dialysis in nine dialysis centres were enrolled in this observational cross-sectional study. Data about socio-demographic and clinical parameters, self-reported depressive symptoms and the most frequent sleep disorders assessed by self-reported questionnaires were collected at enrollment. HRQoL was assessed by the Kidney Disease Quality of Life Questionnaire. Patient characteristics were similar in the Tx vs WL groups: the proportion of males (58 vs 60%), mean ± SD age (49 ± 13 vs 49 ± 12) and proportion of diabetics (17 vs 18%), respectively, were all similar. Tx patients had significantly better HRQoL scores compared to the WL group both in generic (Physical function, General health perceptions, Energy/fatigue, Emotional well-being) and in kidney disease-specific domains (Symptoms/problems, Effect- and Burden of kidney disease and Sleep). In multivariate regression models adjusting for clinical and socio-demographic characteristics, sleep disorders and depressive symptoms, the modality of RRT (WL vs Tx) remained independently associated with three (General health perceptions, Effect- and Burden of kidney disease) out of the eight HRQoL dimensions analysed. Kidney Tx recipients have significantly better HRQoL compared to WL dialysis patients in some, but not all, dimensions of quality of life after accounting for differences in patient characteristics. Utilizing multidimensional disease-specific questionnaires will allow better understanding of treatment, disease and patient-related factors potentially affecting quality of life in patients with chronic medical conditions.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 03/2011; 26(3):1058-65. DOI:10.1093/ndt/gfq476 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To analyze in a prospective cohort study if depressive symptoms are an independent predictor of mortality in kidney transplant recipients. Data from 840 transplanted patients followed at a single outpatient transplant center were analyzed. Sociodemographic parameters and clinical data were collected at enrollment (between August 2002 and February 2003). Participants completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale. Depression was defined as CES-D score of > or = 18. Data on 5-year outcomes (death censored graft loss or mortality) were collected. The prevalence of depression was 22%. Mortality was higher (21% versus 13%; p = .004) in patients with versus without depression. In a multivariate Cox proportional hazard model, both the baseline CES-D score (hazard ratio(for each 1-point increase) = 1.02; 95% confidence interval, 1.00-1.04) and the presence of depression at baseline (hazard ratio(presence) = 1.66; 95% confidence interval, 1.12-2.47) were significantly associated with mortality. The baseline CES-D score also significantly predicted death censored graft loss (hazard ratio(for each 1-point increase) = 1.03; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.05). Depressive symptoms are an independent predictor of mortality in kidney transplanted patients.
    Psychosomatic Medicine 07/2010; 72(6):527-34. DOI:10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181dbbb7d · 4.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Depression is associated with impaired quality of life and increased morbidity and mortality in patients with end-stage renal disease. Little is known about the prevalence and correlates of depression in kidney transplant recipients. In this study, we aimed to compare depressive symptoms between kidney transplant recipients and wait-listed dialysis patients and identify the correlates of depressive symptoms in the transplant recipient population. Observational cross-sectional study using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) to assess the severity of depressive symptoms. A cutoff score of 18 was used to identify the presence of depression. 1,067 kidney transplant recipients and 214 wait-listed dialysis patients were asked to participate; the final analysis included 854 kidney transplant and 176 wait-listed dialysis patients, respectively. Sociodemographic and clinical variables. Severity of depressive symptoms and presence of depression (CES-D score > or = 18). The prevalence of depression was 33% versus 22% in wait-listed versus transplant patients, respectively (P = 0.002). In multivariate regression, number of comorbid conditions, estimated glomerular filtration rate, perceived financial situation, and marital status were significant and independent predictors of depression in the transplant recipient group. Treatment modality was associated significantly with the presence of depression, even after adjustment for clinical and sociodemographic variables (OR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.25-3.23; P = 0.004). Self-reported measurement of depressive symptoms. The prevalence of depression is lower in transplant recipients than in wait-listed patients. However, one-fifth of transplant patients are still at high risk of clinically significant depression. Comorbid conditions, socioeconomic status, and treatment modality predicted depressive symptoms in patients with end-stage renal disease.
    American Journal of Kidney Diseases 11/2009; 55(1):132-40. DOI:10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.09.022 · 5.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment decisions made by patients with chronic kidney disease are crucial in the renal transplantation process. These decisions are influenced, amongst other factors, by attitudes towards different treatment options, which are modulated by knowledge and perceptions about the disease and its treatment and many other subjective factors. Here we study the attitude of dialysis patients to renal transplantation and the association of sociodemographic characteristics, patient perceptions and experiences with this attitude. In a cross-sectional study, all patients from eight dialysis units in Budapest, Hungary, who were on haemodialysis for at least 3 months were approached to complete a self-administered questionnaire. Data collected from 459 patients younger than 70 years were analysed in this manuscript. Mean age of the study population was 53 +/- 12 years, 54% were male and the prevalence of diabetes was 22%. Patients with positive attitude to renal transplantation were younger (51 +/- 11 versus 58 +/- 11 years), better educated, more likely to be employed (11% versus 4%) and had prior transplantation (15% versus 7%)(P < 0.05 for all). In a multivariate model, negative patient perceptions about transplantation, negative expectations about health outcomes after transplantation and the presence of fears about the transplant surgery were associated, in addition to increasing age, with unwillingness to consider transplantation. Negative attitudes to renal transplantation are associated with potentially modifiable factors. Based on this we suggest that it would be necessary to develop standardized, comprehensible patient information systems and personalized decision support to facilitate modality selection and to enable patients to make fully informed treatment decisions.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 12/2008; 24(2):653-60. DOI:10.1093/ndt/gfn660 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is frequently associated with other chronic medical conditions. Adjusting for potential confounding factors that are associated with the outcome of interest is important both in clinical research and in everyday clinical practice. Comorbidity is such an important co-variable that it is reported to predict different outcomes in patients with ESRD. Health related quality of life (HRQoL) has increasingly been recognized as an important aspect of health care delivery, measure of effectiveness and patient experience, in chronic medical conditions. The progressively older ESRD patient population of industrialized countries is significantly debilitated by the burden of disease and also by the intrusiveness of renal replacement therapies. For these patients simply prolonging life is not enough. Little information has been published about the association of comorbidity and HRQoL. The aim of this review is to summarize the significance of comorbidity in patients with ESRD, with a special focus on the complex relationship between comorbidity and HRQoL. Several frequently used instruments will be described and the current literature, that compared the relative utility and accuracy of these tools, will be reviewed. Finally, the impact of selected medical conditions on HRQoL of patients with end-stage renal disease will be demonstrated.
    Journal of nephrology 01/2008; 21 Suppl 13:S84-91. · 2.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies showed an association between the presence of restless legs syndrome (RLS) and mortality in patients on dialysis therapy. An association between RLS and cardiovascular risk also was reported in the general population. However, no prospective study to date assessed the association between the presence of RLS and mortality in kidney transplant recipients. In a prospective cohort study (Transplantation and Quality of Life-Hungary Study), we tested the hypothesis that the presence of RLS predicts mortality in transplant recipients. Prospective cohort study was performed. 804 kidney transplant recipients followed up at a single outpatient transplant center were enrolled in the study. Sociodemographic parameters, laboratory data, and medical history were collected at baseline. Data for 4-year outcomes were collected prospectively from patient charts. Presence of RLS assessed using the RLS Questionnaire. We defined 3 primary outcomes: mortality with functioning graft, return to dialysis therapy, and the combined outcome of these 2. Mean age was 49 +/- 13 years, estimated glomerular filtration rate was 49 +/- 19 mL/min/1.73 m(2), and median time after transplantation was 54 months. During the 4 years, 97 patients died and 63 patients returned to dialysis therapy. Mortality at 4 years was significantly greater in patients who had RLS at baseline: univariate hazard ratio for the presence of RLS was 2.53 (95% confidence interval, 1.31 to 4.87). In multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis, the presence of RLS significantly predicted mortality (hazard ratio, 2.02; 95% confidence interval, 1.03 to 3.95) after adjustment for several covariables. The RLS Questionnaire was not validated in transplant recipients. We lacked information for key variables, including HLA mismatch, panel reactive antibodies, cold ischemic time, acute rejection episodes, viral infections, smoking status, and dyslipidemia. RLS, a potentially treatable disease, is a significant risk factor for mortality in kidney transplant recipients.
    American Journal of Kidney Diseases 11/2007; 50(5):813-20. DOI:10.1053/j.ajkd.2007.08.003 · 5.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although a known cardiovascular risk factor, anemia in the renal transplant recipients has only recently been receiving an increasing attention. In a cross-sectional study, data was obtained from 959 patients followed at a single outpatient transplant clinic. Based on the guideline of the American Society of Transplantation, anemia was defined as hemoglobin (Hb) < or =130 g/L in males and < or =120 g/L in females. About one-third (34%) of the patients were anemic. The prevalence of anemia was comparable in males and females. Serum Hb concentration was significantly correlated with the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (abbreviated modification of diet in renal disease formula) (r = 0.266, p < 0.001), serum transferrin (r = 0.268, p < 0.001) and serum albumin (r = 0.196, p < 0.001). None of the immunosuppressive medications or the use of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors was associated with a higher likelihood of anemia. In multivariate analysis the eGFR, serum albumin and serum transferrin, potential markers of nutritional status and/or chronic inflammation, and also iron deficiency were independently and significantly associated with anemia. Erythropoietin was administered only to 63 (19%) anemic patients. Post-transplant anemia is a prevalent and under-treated condition. Based on our results we suggest that, besides other factors, protein/energy malnutrition and/or chronic inflammation may be independently associated with anemia. Further studies are needed to determine whether the presence of anemia and its treatment will have an impact on long-term outcomes of this population.
    Clinical Transplantation 12/2005; 19(6):825-33. DOI:10.1111/j.1399-0012.2005.00428.x · 1.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a cross-sectional study, we analysed the complex relationship between restless legs syndrome (RLS), insomnia and specific insomnia symptoms and health-related quality of life (QoL) in patients on maintenance dialysis. Data were obtained from 333 patients on chronic maintenance dialysis. To assess the prevalence of RLS, we used the RLS Questionnaire (RLSQ). The Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS) was used to assess insomnia and QoL was measured with the Kidney Disease Quality-of-Life Questionnaire. The prevalence of RLS was 14%. The number of comorbid conditions was significantly higher in patients with vs without RLS (median: three vs two; P<0.05). RLS patients were twice as likely to have significant insomnia as patients without RLS (35% vs 16%; P<0.05). Furthermore, RLS was associated with impaired overall sleep quality (median AIS score: 8 vs 4; P<0.01) and poorer QoL. RLS was a significant and independent predictor of several of the QoL domains after statistical adjustment for clinical and socio-demographic covariables. Importantly, this association remained significant even after adjusting for sleep quality. RLS is associated with poor sleep, increased odds for insomnia and impaired QoL in patients on maintenance dialysis. Based on the present results, we suggest that both sleep-related and sleep-independent factors may confer the effect of RLS on QoL.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 04/2005; 20(3):571-7. DOI:10.1093/ndt/gfh654 · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is an almost complete lack of information on the epidemiology of sleep disorders in kidney-transplanted patients. In this report the authors assess the prevalence and clinical correlates of restless legs syndrome (RLS) in kidney-transplanted (Tx) patients. They also analyze the impact of declining renal function on this condition in the Tx population. Finally, the prevalence of RLS was compared between waitlisted dialysis patients (WL), and the Tx group. In a cross-sectional study enrolling 992 patients (816 Tx and 176 WL), the presence of RLS was assessed using the Restless Legs Syndrome Questionnaire. Clinical and sociodemographic data were collected from the patients' medical records. In transplanted patients, the prevalence of RLS was 4.8%. RLS was associated strongly with declining renal function. In groups formed on the basis of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), the prevalence of RLS was 1.8%, 5.1%, 6.5%, and 23.5% in patients with eGFR greater than 60 mL/min/1.73 m 2 ; eGFR 30 to 59 mL/min/1.73 m 2 ; eGFR 15 to 29 mL/min/1.73 m 2 ; and eGFR less than 15 mL/min/1.73 m 2 , respectively (P < 0.001). There was also a significant association between RLS and lower serum hemoglobin, higher number of self-reported comorbid conditions, and higher prevalence of iron deficiency. RLS was significantly less frequent in patients taking steroids than in patients not taking this medication (4% versus 9%, P < 0.05). In multivariate analysis, not taking steroids, eGFR, self-reported comorbidity, and iron deficiency were significant and independent predictors of RLS. Dialysis treatment was associated with increased odds for RLS (odds ratio 2.2; 95% confidence interval 1.11 to 4.35; P < 0.05) even after adjusting for serum hemoglobin and comorbidity. The prevalence of RLS is significantly lower in Tx patients than in patients on maintenance dialysis. Declining renal function is associated with increasing prevalence of the condition.
    American Journal of Kidney Diseases 03/2005; 45(2):388-96. DOI:10.1053/j.ajkd.2004.10.007 · 5.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to compare the factor structure and to assess the reliability of the Hungarian version of the Illness Intrusiveness Rating Scale (IIRS), testing internal validity and employing simultaneous confirmatory factor analysis (SCFA) in two large samples of North American versus Hungarian patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Translation was conducted according to current recommendations. Following pilot testing, 365 maintenance haemodialysis patients completed the scale. Hungarian data were compared with IIRS data from North American ESRD patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis to evaluate item bias (Group x Item ANOVA). Confirmatory factor analyses indicated a good fit between the previously hypothesized three-factor model ("relationships and personal development", "intimacy", and "instrumental" life domains) of the original English version and the Hungarian translation. Although statistically significant (P<.05), the effect size for the Groups x Items interaction was not substantial. Internal consistency was very good (Cronbach's alpha=.80) for the total score, and, although somewhat lower than ideal, it was still in the acceptable range for the subscales (.64-.67). These numbers are similar to values reported for the original English version. Test-retest reliability was also acceptable. The Hungarian translation of the IIRS has the same three-dimensional factor structure as the original English-language version does. Furthermore, it is sufficiently reliable for research applications. These features satisfy important requirements of cultural equivalence.
    Journal of Psychosomatic Research 02/2005; 58(1):103-10. DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2004.05.008 · 2.84 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

319 Citations
43.89 Total Impact Points

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  • 2005–2011
    • Semmelweis University
      • Institute of Behavioural Sciences
      Budapeŝto, Budapest, Hungary