Health Watch - Mind and Body: Depression and Kidney Disease

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This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about the relationship between mind and body – the way the brain can affect physical health and the way the body can also affect mental well-being. There may not seem to be much of a link between the mind and the kidneys, but people with kidney disease have a higher risk for depression.

In a recent study, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center found that more than 20 percent of patients with early-stage kidney disease – even before dialysis is required – are depressed. That’s much higher than in the general population and higher than seen with other chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease.

Dr. Susan Hedayati, a UT Southwestern nephrologist, says this could be because of the combination of diseases that lead to kidney disease or because depressed patients are less likely to take care of themselves, which increases the risk of kidney disease. Either way, she says nephrologists should consider screening their patients for depression.

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March 2010


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