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Depression Linked to Kidney Failure in Diabetics

Update Date: Mar 27, 2014 06:56 PM EDT
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Depression increases the risk of kidney failure in diabetes patients, according to a new study. Researchers said the latest findings suggest that treating depression can improve kidney health in diabetics.

The latest findings are important because diabetics are more likely to have depressive symptoms, which are also associated with cardiovascular disease and early death.

The latest study involved 3,886 adults with diabetes who were covered by a large health maintenance organization in Washington State. The study revealed that 11.5 percent of the patients had major and 8.4 percent had minor depressive symptoms. During a median follow-up of 8.8 years, 2.2 percent developed kidney failure.

After accounting for various factors like age, sex, race, marital status, education, body mass index and lifestyle factors, researchers found that major depression in diabetes patients was linked an 85 percent higher risk of developing kidney failure.

However, minor depressive symptoms did not significantly increase the risk of developing kidney failure.

"This is the first study to show that major depressive symptoms are associated with a higher risk of kidney failure in patients with diabetes," added Dr. Yu. "As an observational cohort study, we can only identify an association between major depressive symptoms and kidney failure; additional studies are needed to determine whether treatment of depression can reduce the risk of kidney failure."

The findings are published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

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