New research suggests that depression may now be a risk factor for the development of kidney disease. A large study was conducted which found that participants with depressive symptoms had a more obvious association between those symptoms of depression and the onset of kidney disease and the overall worse outcomes. This was found to be the case even after there were corrections for different long-term medical problems.
After this study was completed, it became clear that those with depression are 20% more at risk of developing kidney disease and having worse conditions. Dr. Willem Kop, from the University of Tilburg, along with his colleagues were responsible for conducting an extensive study in order to find the incidence of kidney disease in relation to participants with depression or depression related symptoms.
The researchers evaluated 5,785 people from 4 different counties within the United States for a span of 10 years. Researchers were specifically looking for whether depression could actually predict the development of kidney disease or other severe medical problems that result in decreased or failed kidney function. When the study began, none of the people was on dialysis.
In comparison to those without kidney problems or kidney disease specifically, depression was 20% more prevalent among those that were diagnosed with kidney disease.
According to Dr. Kop, it was also noted that those with worse symptoms of depression were also at higher risk of having adverse outcomes in relation to their kidney disease. This is able to be explained in part to other medical factors that are found to be related to kidney disease and depression. However, the association with depression seemed to be stronger in patients who actually were relatively healthy when compared to patients that had medical illnesses that co-existed such as heart disease or diabetes.
Further research is being conducted to rule out other factors that would explain an association between developing and worsening kidney disease and depression such as issues within the nervous or immune systems.
It is also a possibility that a delay in receiving treatment because of the depression may also contribute to a worsening condition for some patients. The participants in this study were at least 65 years old and the depressive symptoms were evaluated by use of questionnaires. Kidney function was also measured such as the glomerular filtration rate which is a risk factor for kidney disease.
Even after corrections were made for other existing medical conditions, the risk of being hospitalized because of kidney disease seemed to be higher for those who also suffered from depression. These findings are very important considering the substantially high rates of depression which are found to affect 10% of adults within the United States within their lifetime.
Blanchard, K. RN. 2011. Depression tied to new onset and severity of kidney disease.
“Longitudinal Association of Depressive Symptoms with Rapid Kidney Function Decline and Adverse Clinical Renal Disease Outcomes”
Willem J. Kop, Stephen L. Seliger, Jeffrey C. Fink, Ronit Katz, Michelle C. Odden, Linda F. Fried‖, Dena E. Rifkin, Mark J. Sarnak, John S. Gottdiener