Peer Reviewed

Kidney Disease

Depression Is Linked to Kidney Function Decline

Depressive symptoms are associated with greater likelihood of rapid kidney function decline among adults with healthy kidneys, according to the results of a recent study.

In order to explore the relationship between depressive symptoms and kidney function, the researchers conducted a study of data from 4763 Chinese adults with eGFR≥60 ml/min per 1.73 m2 at baseline. The 10-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale was used to evaluated depressive symptoms.

Over a median follow-up of 4 years, 6% of participants (n = 260) experienced rapid kidney function decline. After adjustment for major covariates, the researchers observed a significant association between baseline depressive symptoms and rapid kidney function decline (odds ratio [OR] 1.15, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.28). Compared with individuals with low depressive symptom scores, higher scores were associated with significantly higher risk of kidney function decline (OR 1.39, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.88).

“In summary, our study demonstrated that high depressive symptoms were significantly associated with rapid decline in kidney function among Chinese adults with normal kidney function. If further confirmed, our data provide some evidence for depressive symptom screening and effective psychosocial intervention to improve primary prevention of CKD,” they concluded.

—Michael Potts


Zhang Z, He P, Liu M, et al. Association of depressive symptoms with rapid kidney function decline in adults with normal kidney function. Published online May 29, 2021. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol.