In a recent publication in the journal Cureus, researchers conducted a cross-sectional study and sought to ascertain the incidence of MDD in patients with CKD on maintenance hemodialysis and explore any possible correlations with any sociodemographic, clinical, or biochemical factors.

The researchers employed clinical interviews for diagnosing MDD according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. The severity was calculated using Hamilton Depression Rating Scale in those diagnosed with MDD.

The study involved 77 patients. The results revealed that the incidence of MDD in patients with CKD undergoing hemodialysis was 31.17%, which is greater than in the general population. Moreover, the majority of those who were depressed had moderate-to-severe depression. The diagnosis of MDD was significantly correlated with the male gender and lower socioeconomic status, and individuals undergoing dialysis less frequently or having more workdays lost due to CKD were more prone to experience depression. Significantly lower blood hemoglobin levels, lower serum ionized calcium levels, and a lower urea reduction ratio were noted in those with MDD compared to those who did not have MDD.

Based on their findings, the authors concluded that the elevated incidence of MDD in patients with CKD undergoing hemodialysis suggested that clinicians should routinely assess patients with CKD for depressive symptoms and refer them to mental health services when warranted, particularly those with the aforementioned sociodemographic and biochemical risk factors.

The authors wrote, “Our study demonstrates that MDD is much more prevalent in patients with CKD on hemodialysis than in the general population.” They added, “This issue can potentially be mitigated by making healthcare services, especially dialysis services, more accessible and by providing financial and occupational support to those affected by CKD and undergoing hemodialysis.”

Finally, the authors added, “It may be prudent to identify and screen these susceptible patients for depressive symptoms and provide timely intervention to improve their quality of life and overall outcomes.”

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