Everyday discrimination and kidney function among older adults: Evidence from the health and retirement study

Ryon J. Cobb, Roland J. Thorpe, Keith C. Norris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: With advancing age, there is an increase in the time of and number of experiences with psychosocial stressors that may lead to the initiation and/or progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Our study tests whether one type of experience, everyday discrimination, predicts kidney function among middle and older adults. Methods: The data were from 10 973 respondents (ages 52-100) in the 2006/2008 Health and Retirement Study, an ongoing biennial nationally representative survey of older adults in the United States. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) derives from the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation. Our indicator of everyday discrimination is drawn from self-reports from respondents. Ordinary Least Squared regression (OLS) models with robust standard errors are applied to test hypotheses regarding the link between everyday discrimination and kidney function. Results: Everyday discrimination was associated with poorer kidney function among respondents in our study. Respondents with higher everyday discrimination scores had lower eGFR after adjusting for demographic characteristics (B = -1.35, p <. 05), and while attenuated, remained significant (B = -0.79, p <. 05) after further adjustments for clinical, health behavior, and socioeconomic covariates. Conclusions: Our study suggests everyday discrimination is independently associated with lower eGFR. These findings highlight the importance of psychosocial factors in predicting insufficiency in kidney function among middle-aged and older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-521
Number of pages5
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 14 2020


  • Age
  • Discrimination
  • Kidney function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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