Kidney failure is significantly more likely to develop in diabetes with major depression than in those without depression, according to a study due to published in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

In an observational cohort study, Margaret Yu, MD, MS, and Bessie Young, MD, MPH, as well as fellow researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle, looked at 3,886 patients with diabetes. Of these, 448 (11.5%) had major depressive symptoms and 327 (8.4%) had minor depressive symptoms. Kidney failure developed in 87 patients (2.2%) after a median follow-up of 8.8 years.

Diabetics with major depression were 85% more likely to develop kidney failure after adjusting for risk factors such as age, sex, body mass index, and medical history. Minor depression was not significantly linked with development of kidney failure.

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“This is the first study to show that major depressive symptoms are associated with a higher risk of kidney failure in patients with diabetes,” Dr. Yu said. “Additional studies are needed to determine whether treatment of depression can reduce the risk of kidney failure.”