Depression is common in individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, data on the association of albuminuria, which together with reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) defines CKD, with depression are scarce and conflicting. In addition, it is not clear when in the course from normal kidney function to CKD the association with depression appears.
We examined the cross-sectional associations of albuminuria and eGFR with depressive symptoms and depressive episodes in 2872 and 3083 40- to 75-year-old individuals, respectively, who completed the baseline survey of an ongoing population-based cohort study conducted in the southern part of The Netherlands between November 2010 and September 2013. Urinary albumin excretion (UAE) was the average UAE in two 24-h urine collections and eGFR was calculated with the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation based on creatinine and cystatin C. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and the presence of a minor or major depressive episode was assessed with the MINI-International Neuropsychiatric Interview.
In total, 5.4% had a minor or major depressive episode. UAE was <15 mg/24 h in 81.2%, 15-<30 mg/24 h in 10.3% and ≥30 mg/24 h in 8.6%. In a multivariable logistic regression analysis adjusted for potential confounders, and with UAE <15 mg/24 h as reference category, the odds ratio for a minor or major depressive episode was 2.13 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.36-3.36] for UAE 15-<30 mg/24 h and 1.81 (95% CI 1.10-2.98) for UAE ≥30 mg/24 h. The average eGFR was 88.2 ± 14.7 mL/min/1.73 m2. eGFR was not associated with the presence of a minor or major depressive episode. Results were similar when we assessed associations with depressive symptoms or clinically relevant depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 score ≥10).
Albuminuria was associated with depressive symptoms and depressive episodes, even at levels of UAE that do not fulfil the CKD criteria. Future longitudinal studies should examine the direction of this association and whether albuminuria could serve as a biomarker to identify individuals at risk of depression.