Urol Pract. 2023 Oct 30:101097UPJ0000000000000468. doi: 10.1097/UPJ.0000000000000468. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: This study aimed to investigate the association between social vulnerability, as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index (SVI), and the quality of life (QoL) of kidney stone patients using the validated Wisconsin Stone Quality of Life Questionnaire (WISQOL).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective analysis was conducted on medical records of new urolithiasis patients who completed the WISQOL at the University of Rochester Medical Center kidney stone clinic. The primary outcome was WISQOL score, which was measured across multiple domains. SVI was used to assess social vulnerability. Neighborhoods with high SVI were defined by a threshold greater than or equal to the 75th percentile nationally. Demographic and clinical data were collected. Statistical analyses, including univariate tests and multivariate linear regression, were performed to evaluate the relationships between social vulnerability and disease specific QoL.
RESULTS: A total of 1718 patients were included in the study. 105 subjects (6.1%) were from neighborhoods of high social vulnerability. Patients residing in neighborhoods with high social vulnerability (SVI quartile) reported significantly lower QoL scores (69.1 vs 77.2; P = .001) and this persisted across all domains, including social impact (32.6 vs 35.1; P = .002), emotional impact (25.2 vs 27.5; P = .006), disease impact (28.5 vs 31.4; P = .001), and vitality (10.3 vs 11.2; P = .015). Younger age, female sex, and higher number of comorbidities were identified as independent predictors of lower QoL scores. However, non-white race and Latinx ethnicity did not exhibit a significant association with QoL scores.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the negative impact of high social vulnerability on QoL, emphasizing the importance of considering socioeconomic factors in patient care. These results emphasize the need for targeted interventions to support vulnerable populations. While this study offers initial insights, further research is essential to corroborate these outcomes across larger and more diverse populations.