Mental health may play a role in dialysis patients' survival

Dialysis patients whose mental health deteriorates over time have an increased risk of developing heart problems and dying prematurely, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN). Additional research should investigate whether caring for kidney disease patients' mental health may help prevent heart complications and even death.

Research indicates that can affect heart health. Because heart disease is the leading cause of death in patients, Ea Wha Kang, MD, PhD (Ilsan Hospital, in Gyeonggi-do, Korea), Mark Unruh, MD (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) and their colleagues looked to see how changes in dialysis patients' mental health relate to their heart health and longevity.

The study included 1,846 dialysis patients who were enrolled in a clinical trial called the Hemodialysis Study. The investigators assessed patients' mental health at the start of the study and each year for three years through surveys and questionnaires.

Patients who had lower mental health scores over time tended to die or be hospitalized for heart problems sooner than patients with steady or rising scores. Specifically, their survival time decreased by 5.8% and their time to first hospitalization due to heart problems decreased by 7.6%.

"Our results emphasize the link between mind and body in patients with chronic illness and underscore the importance of attention to mental health for preventing cardiac complications and even death in ," said Dr. Kang.

More information: The article, entitled "The Association of Mental Health over Time with Cardiac Outcomes in HEMO Study Patients," will appear online on April 5, 2012, doi:10.2215/CJN.06730711

Related Stories

Dialysis safe for kidney patients' heart health

date Jul 09, 2009

Dialysis treatments do not affect the heart health of kidney disease patients who have had a heart attack, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN ...

Recommended for you

The struggle between humans and parasites

date 54 minutes ago

The battle between humanity and parasites is a constant struggle. As parasites grow stronger by developing immunities, new treatments must be created in response. On the frontlines of this struggle are parasitologists, scientists ...

Chikungunya kills 25 in Colombia

date 4 hours ago

The virus chikungunya has killed 25 people in Colombia in less than a year, the National Health Institute said Monday.

Time to move Lyme Disease Awareness Month to April?

date 15 hours ago

The month of May brings many things, among them Mother's Day, tulips, and Lyme Disease Awareness campaigns. But according to Dr. Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem ...

An explanation of wild birds' role in avian flu outbreak

date 17 hours ago

Wild birds are believed to be behind the first major widespread outbreak of bird flu in the United States. The H5N2 virus has cost Midwestern turkey and chicken producers almost 13 million birds since early March, including ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.