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A Link Between Depression and Kidney Transplant Failure?

A Link Between Depression and Kidney Transplant Failure?

New research shows that depressed people who receive kidney transplants have double the rate of kidney failure, dialysis therapy and death than mentally healthy people who receive kidney transplants. The study from a university in Belgium looked at about 48,000 kidney transplant patients and found that among those who were depressed, kidney failure occurred in 19% of patients, 8% died with a functioning kidney and about 11% returned to dialysis therapy.

The study also showed that one year after a kidney transplant, the rate of depression was about 7%, gradually increasing each year after the transplant. Two years after a kidney transplant the rate of depression was 11% and 13% after three years.

The researchers cited issues such as fear of transplant rejection and infections, readjustment to everyday life, and the use of medications with severe adverse side effects as factors that could lead to depression following a kidney transplant.

This is further evidence that having depression makes adjustment from any major surgery or heath diagnosis that much more difficult. What have your experiences been with depression and surgery or severe illness recovery? [Reuters]

Posted: 5/27/08