Depression coinciding with chronic kidney disease raises kidney failure risk in older adults. The researchers studied 5,785 people over the age of 65 from four different counties across the U.S. The participants completed questionnaires to uncover depressive symptoms and a broad range of medical measurements. The researchers examined whether depression predicted the onset of kidney disease or other medical problems that involved the kidneys.
The findings uncovered that depression coincided with the presence of chronic kidney disease and was 20 percent more common in individuals with kidney disease. Depression also predicted a steady progression in kidney disease.
Lead researcher Dr. Willem Kop said, “People with elevated depressive symptoms have a higher risk of subsequent adverse kidney disease outcomes. This is partially explained by other medical factors related to depression and kidney disease. But, the association with depression was stronger in patients who were otherwise healthy, compared to those who had coexisting medical disorders such as diabetes or heart disease.”
The researchers are now analyzing the factors that may explain how depression contributes to kidney function decline, such as delayed treatment, miscommunication with the doctor, and biological mechanism associated with depression.
Tips to lower the risk of chronic kidney disease in older adults
To prevent your risk of chronic kidney disease, it’s important that you maintain your overall good health by not smoking, eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, cutting down on your alcohol intake, exercising regularly, and watching your intake of painkillers as these can contribute to kidney disease.
Other important prevention tips include controlling your blood pressure and keeping it in a healthy range, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling your blood sugar and diabetes, and managing your cholesterol levels.
Keeping in mind your risk factors for chronic kidney disease and working with your doctor to control them, you can prevent chronic kidney disease.