Depressive symptoms linked to rapid kidney function decline

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SCIENTISTS know that depression accelerates the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD), but little research discusses how depression affects kidney function in the general population.

A Chinese university recently discovered a strong correlation between high depressive symptoms and a 39% greater chance of rapid kidney decline in individuals with normal kidney function.

These findings suggest the need for mental health screening and interventions to reduce the risk of developing CKD.

Kidney specialists have long observed that individuals with CKD commonly experience Trusted Source depression.

Until now, though, researchers had not explored whether depression could increase the risk of renal dysfunction in otherwise healthy individuals.

In a recent study of adults with healthy kidneys, the researchers found that those with major depression were more prone to develop a faster-than-normal deterioration in kidney function. The results appear in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

The lead author, Dr. Xianhui Qin of Southern Medical University in China, explains: “CKD is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, kidney failure, and mortality worldwide.

Therefore, the identification of more modifiable risk factors may reduce the huge burden of CKD and its related complications by leading to early detection and prevention.”

Dr. Qin and the study’s co-authors analyzed data on adults participating in the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), a national study of China’s middle-aged and elderly population.

The team gathered complete measurements from 4,763 individuals aged 45 years and older with healthy kidneys. The mean age was 59, and males made up 45% of the study population.

The researchers analyzed data from 2011, 2013, and 2015 and conducted one-to-one interviews and follow-ups.

During each 2-yearly follow-up, doctors performed physical measurements, and they collected blood samples every two follow-up cycles.

The researchers measured kidney function using the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).

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