Ethnic Differences in the Association of Depressive Symptoms with Clinical Outcome in Dialysis Patients

Robbert W. Schouten, Gerlinde L. Haverkamp, Wim L. Loosman, Prataap K. Chandie Shaw, Frans J. van Ittersum, Yves F. C. Smets, Louis-Jean Vleming, Friedo W. Dekker, Adriaan Honig, Carl E. H. Siegert

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5 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Studies show mixed results on the association between depressive symptoms and adverse clinical outcomes in patients on dialysis therapy. Ethnicity may play a role in these heterogeneous results. No studies have investigated the interplay between ethnicity and depressive symptoms on clinical outcome in this patient population. This study aims to examine interaction between ethnicity and depressive symptoms on hospitalization and mortality in dialysis patients. METHODS: A multi-ethnic cohort in 10 dialysis centers included 687 dialysis patients between 2012 and 2017, with an average follow-up of 3.2 years. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Beck Depression Inventory. Interaction was assessed by investigating excess risk on an additive scale using both absolute rates and relative risks. Multivariable regression models included demographic, social, and clinical variables. RESULTS: Adverse outcomes are more pronounced in native patients, compared to immigrant patients. The risk for mortality and hospitalization is considerably higher in native patients compared to immigrants. An excess risk on an additive scale indicates the presence of possible causal interaction. CONCLUSIONS: Depressive symptoms are a risk factor for hospitalization and mortality, especially in native dialysis patients. Adverse clinical events associated with depressive symptoms differ among ethnic groups. This differential association could play a role in the conflicting findings in literature. Ethnicity is an important factor when investigating depressive symptoms and clinical outcome in dialysis patients. Future research should focus on the possible mechanisms and pathways involved in these differential associations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-1000
JournalJournal of racial and ethnic health disparities
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Depression
  • Dialysis
  • Ethnicity
  • Hospitalization
  • Interaction
  • Mortality

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