People with depressive symptoms are more likely to experience a rapid decline in kidney function later in life, suggests a new study.

The study, to be published in CJASN, showed that participants with frequent depressive symptoms were 1.4-times more likely to experience rapid kidney function decline than participants with infrequent depressive symptoms after adjustments.

“CKD is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, kidney failure and mortality worldwide,” said researcher Xianhui Qin, MD (Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University in China.

“Therefore, the identification of more modifiable risk factors may possibly reduce the huge burden of CKD and its related complications by leading to early detection and prevention,” Qin added.

Depression is a common condition in middle-aged and older adults, and it can contribute to a variety of mental and physical problems.

Previous research has found a link between depressive symptoms and rapid kidney function decline in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

For this study, the team examined information on 4,763 individuals with healthy kidneys when they enrolled in the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS).

At the start of the study, 39 per cent of participants had high depressive symptoms, and during a median follow-up of 4 years, 260 (6 per cent) participants experienced rapid kidney function decline.

There was a significant association between depressive symptoms at the start of the study and rapid decline in kidney function during follow-up.

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