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Health and Nutrition Literacy and Adherence to Treatment in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults With Chronic Kidney Disease and Hypertension, North Carolina, 2015
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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:

    Adherence to treatment and dietary restrictions is important for health outcomes of patients with chronic/end-stage kidney disease and hypertension. The relationship of adherence with nutritional and health literacy in children, adolescents, and young adults is not well understood. The current study examined the relationship of health literacy, nutrition knowledge, nutrition knowledge–behavior concordance, and medication adherence in a sample of children and young people with chronic/end-stage kidney disease and hypertension.


    We enrolled 74 patients (aged 7–29 y) with a diagnosis of chronic/end-stage kidney disease and hypertension from the University of North Carolina Kidney Center. Participants completed instruments of nutrition literacy (Disease-Specific Nutrition Knowledge Test), health literacy (Newest Vital Sign), nutrition behavior (Nutrition Knowledge–Behavior Concordance Scale), and medication adherence (Morisky Medication Adherence Scale). Linear and binary logistic regressions were used to test the associations.


    In univariate comparisons, nutrition knowledge was significantly higher in people with adequate health literacy. Medication adherence was related to nutrition knowledge and nutrition knowledge–behavior concordance. Multivariate regression models demonstrated that knowledge of disease-specific nutrition restrictions did not significantly predict nutrition knowledge–behavior concordance scores. In logistic regression, knowledge of nutrition restrictions did not significantly predict medication adherence. Lastly, health literacy and nutrition knowledge–behavior concordance were significant predictors of medication adherence.


    Nutrition knowledge and health literacy skills are positively associated. Nutrition knowledge, health literacy, and nutrition knowledge–behavior concordance are positively related to medication adherence. Future research should focus on additional factors that may predict disease-specific nutrition behavior (adherence to dietary restrictions) in children and young people with chronic conditions.

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