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Association of age with risk of major depression among patients with chronic kidney disease over midlife: a nationwide cohort study in Taiwan

  • Shih-Feng Chen (a1), Yu-Huei Chien (a1), Pau-Chung Chen (a2) and I-Jen Wang (a3)



The impact of age on the development of depression among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) at stages before dialysis is not well known. We aimed to explore the incidence of major depression among predialysis CKD patients of successively older ages through midlife.


We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the longitudinal health insurance database 2005 in Taiwan. This study investigated 17,889 predialysis CKD patients who were further categorized into study (i.e. middle and old-aged) groups and comparison group aged 18–44. The International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) was applied for coding diseases.


The group aged 75 and over had the lowest (hazard ratio [HR] 0.47; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.32–0.69) risk of developing major depression, followed by the group aged 65–74 (HR 0.67; 95% CI 0.49–0.92), using the comparison group as reference. The adjusted survival curves showed significant differences in cumulative major depression-free survival between different age groups. We observed that the risk of major depression development decreases with higher age. Females were at a higher risk of major depression than males among predialyasis CKD patients.


The incidence of major depression declines with higher age in predialysis CKD patients over midlife. Among all age groups, patients aged 75 and over have the lowest risk of developing major depression. A female preponderance in major depression development is present. We suggest that depression prevention and therapy should be integrated into the standard care for predialysis CKD patients, especially for those young and female.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: I-Jen Wang, Psychiatry Department, Taipei City Hospital Jen-Ai Branch, No. 10, Sec. 4, Jen-Ai Rd., Taipei 10629, Taiwan (R.O.C.). Phone: +886-2-27093600 ext. 5246; Fax: +886-2-27039788. Email:


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