Friday, March 11, 2011

Depression and kidney disease

Depression is already linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and a new study by researchers from the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands suggests that it could be linked to an increased risk of kidney disease too. The researchers studied 5,785 people in the U.S. over a 10-year period. The participants were all over 65 and filled out a questionnaire measuring their levels of depression as well as having a series of medical tests to assess their kidney function. Depression was 20% more common in people with kidney disease than in those without. Over the ten years of the study depression predicted a rapid decline in kidney function, new cases of severe kidney disease and hospitalisation. As well as the physiological effects of depression on the immune and nervous systems the researchers also thought that depression could be associated with delaying seeing a doctor and poor communication between patients and physicians.

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