Mental health may play a role in dialysis patients' survival

April 5, 2012

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.

Explore further: Similar blood pressure drugs could have different impacts on dialysis patients' heart health

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

Recommended for you

Ebola linked to habitat destruction

February 20, 2017

A Massey University veterinary scientist has co-authored research suggesting that Ebola virus emergence is linked to the clearing of animal habitat through deforestation in West and Central Africa.

New study determines how long Zika remains in body fluids

February 20, 2017

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine provides evidence that the Zika virus particles remain longer in blood than in urine and some other body fluids. This information suggests that blood serum may be the ...

Researcher helps stem the spread of superbugs

February 20, 2017

Katherine Baker feels vindicated. She and other microbiologists have been warning for years that anti-bacterial soaps containing triclosan are bad for the environment, harmful for health, and do nothing to prevent disease.

Scientists uncover how Zika virus causes microcephaly

February 17, 2017

A multidisciplinary team from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has uncovered the mechanisms that the Zika virus uses to alter brain development. These findings are detailed in Stem Cell Reports.

0 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.