Cheryl has completed her Doctor of Nurse Practice and has 25 years nursing experience specializing in cardiothoracic and nephrology as an RN and a Nurse Practitioner.  She currently is a faculty nurse educator at a four-year university in North Carolina, United States.



Background:   For years women have had consistently higher rates of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in comparison to men.  However, men initiate dialysis sooner, are referred for pre-emptive surgical dialysis access creation more frequently, and receive renal transplants in greater numbers.  For Asian Americans, CKD has increased tenfold in the last three decades yet little is known about gender differences in those living with CKD. 

Objective:  The purpose of this study was to examine gender variations in socioeconomic demographics, clinical chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, depression), modifiable lifestyle behaviors (alcohol, smoking physical activity, BMI, dietary choices) and healthcare access of Asian American females with CKD.  

Methods:  A retrospective, secondary data analysis of Asian Americans with CKD (N=180) using descriptive-correlational design examined data obtained from the Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System (BRFSS).  Descriptive statistics, Chi-square and Cramer’s V statistical analyses were performed to examine gender differences.

Results:  Females had higher rates of depression than males (26.7% vs. 12.6%, x2=5.484, p=0.019, V=0.176) and had more office visits with a health care professional than their male counterpart (x2=8.874, p=0.031, V=0.351).  There were no statistical differences in modifiable lifestyle factors.  However, obesity increased by 5% from 2009 to 2013, there was a lack of healthcare insurance in 18 – 64 year olds (14.3%), and the rates of unemployment (23.3%) were much higher than the 2013 national norm of 5.6% and 7.4%.

Conclusions:  This study offers support that primary care providers have increased opportunities at the point of care with Asian American females with CKD.  Conversely, many remain uninsured in the post Affordable Care Act era.  Thus healthcare disparities still exist for many Asian Americans with CKD and access to care.