Health Watch - Depression: Dialysis

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This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about research into treating depression. Depression can have effects that go far beyond the brain. Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that depressed patients on dialysis are most likely to be hospitalized or die.

Dialysis patients aren’t routinely screened for depression, and many of the symptoms of depression, such as low energy, poor appetite and disturbed sleep, are also common in chronic illnesses like kidney failure. That makes it hard to tell which patients are depressed. In a recent study, UT Southwestern doctors screened dialysis patients using formal psychiatric interviews. More than 80 percent of the dialysis patients diagnosed with depression died or were hospitalized within a year. Dr. Susan Hedayati, a
UT Southwestern nephrologist, says further research may show whether treating depression makes a difference in patient outcomes.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/kidneys to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in kidneys.

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July 2009


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