Introduction: More than 1/3 of patients with end-stage renal disease who are in a chronic dialysis program suffer from chronic pain and depression/anxiety. The aim of the study was to determine the impacts of symptoms of depression/ anxiety, chronic pain and quality of life (QoL) on 6-year patient survival. Material and methods: Observational study of end-stage renal disease patients on maintenance hemodialysis (n = 205) who met the inclusion criteria.
Patients from three dialysis centers in Lower Silesia were asked to complete a battery of validated questionnaires: the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the 36-item Short Form Health Survey Questionnaire, the Verbal Rating Scale (VRS) and the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Clinical and biochemical data (dialysis adequacy) were recorded.
Results: One hundred thirty from 205 enrolled hemodialysis patients (63.4%) suffered from chronic pain. Patients with pain were on maintenance dialysis for longer times and had higher levels of parathyroid hormone, more depressive symptoms and a lower QoL than those without pain. In the 6-year period, 96 (46.8%) patients died. The most common cause of death was cardiovascular disease in 44 (45.8%) patients. Highly depressed patients (HADS depression score > 8) exhibited higher mortality (< 8 vs. > 8 points; p = 0.016) independent of age, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, C reactive protein or albumin level.
Conclusions: Chronic pain, although common among hemodialysis patients, did not lower survival. Depressive symptoms are an important predictor for all-cause mortality in hemodialysis patients, with the relationship independent of nutritional or inflammatory status.