Objective: Depression is common in hemodialysis patients. Reduced DHEA-S levels have been shown to be associated with depression in general population. Abnormalities in hormone production and metabolism are found in hemodialysis patients. However, the association between DHEA-S levels and depression in hemodialysis patients has not been established. Method: We conducted a cross-sectional study, in which 80 patients under regular hemodialysis were studied, and their serum DHEA-S levels were analyzed. Results: The prevalence of depression in our studied hemodialysis population is 37.5% (30/80). The DHEA-S level was 1138.1 ± 1216.9 ng/mL in male patients and 502.1 ± 389.4 ng/mL in female patients. The levels were not significantly different between patients with or without depression (910.8 ± 1127.1 ng/mL vs. 769.3 ± 848.3 ng/mL, P = 0.533). As compared to the non-depressed patients, the depressed patients were more likely to be male, with lower body mass index, consuming more alcohol, and with more co-morbidity. The prevalence of depression was not associated with age, educational background, smoking, duration of dialysis, hemoglobin, albumin, CRP, ferritin, and urea clearance (Kt/V and URR). The serum DHEA-S levels exhibited significant and independent associations with age, gender, diabetes mellitus, and the levels of serum albumin. Conclusion: The study suggested a lack of association between plasma DHEA-S levels and depression in hemodialysis patients.
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