Background: Depression is prevalent in long-term dialysis patients and is associated with death and hospitalization. Whether depression is present through all chronic kidney disease (CKD) stages or appears after dialysis therapy initiation is not clear. We determined the prevalence of a major depressive episode and other psychiatric illnesses by using a structured gold-standard clinical interview and demographic and clinical variables associated with major depressive episode in patients with CKD.
Study design: Observational cross-sectional study using a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition)-based structured interview administered by trained persons to 272 consecutive participants. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine demographic and clinical variables associated with major depressive episode.
Setting & participants: Patients with stages 2 to 5 CKD not treated by using dialysis were consecutively approached and enrolled from a Veterans Affairs CKD clinic.
Predictors: Demographic and clinical variables.
Outcome: Major depressive episode diagnosed by using a structured Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition)-based interview, the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview.
Results: The cohort had a mean age of 64.5 +/- 12.0 years. Thirty-eight percent were African American, and 55% had diabetes mellitus. Percentages of patients with stages 2, 3, 4, and 5 CKD were 6%, 38%, 41%, and 14%, respectively. Mean hemoglobin level was 12.5 +/- 2.0 g/dL. The prevalence of a major depressive episode was 21% and did not vary significantly among different CKD stages. Variables associated with a major depressive episode were diabetes mellitus, comorbid psychiatric illness, and history of drug or alcohol abuse.
Limitations: Single-center study composed of primarily male veterans.
Conclusions: One in 5 patients with CKD had a major depressive episode. Patients with CKD should be screened routinely for depression given this high prevalence and the independent association of depression with poor outcomes in patients with end-stage renal disease receiving maintenance dialysis.