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Is depression a risk factor for mortality in chronic hemodialysis patients?

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The present study was conducted to assess the association between depressive symptomatology and mortality in chronic hemodialysis.

METHOD: A cohort of 40 patients was followed for a median period of 10.5 months. The Beck Depression Inventory was used to classify patients as exposed to depression (Beck Depression Inventory score > 14) or not (Beck Depression Inventory < 14). Kaplan-Meier survival curves were used to compare the mortality rate between the two groups. The effects of potential confounding factors were adjusted using Cox proportional hazards model.

RESULTS: After 24 months of follow-up, survival rates were 39% for exposed and 95% for non-exposed patients (p = 0.029). The Cox proportional hazards model showed results similar to those of the bivariate analysis, indicating that depressive symptomatology tended to be associated with mortality (HR = 6.5, 95%CI: 0.8-55.6; p = 0.085). Other study variables, including age, concurrent systemic diseases, and biochemical markers, were not significantly associated with mortality. Exposed patients remained on dialysis longer and received kidney transplants less frequently (9% vs. 50% for non-exposed patients).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that the presence of depressive symptoms may act as an independent risk factor for mortality in chronic hemodialysis patients.

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