Depression Associated with Fatigue in Patients with ESRD

Among patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), fatigue is a prevalent and challenging symptom and is associated with decreased quality of life and increased mortality in that patient population. However, the causes of fatigue are not well understood.

Researchers, led by Christine Horvat Davey, PhD, RN, CWRU, conducted a study to examine the association between NPAS2 gene expression, demographic variables, dialysis specific factors, and medical characteristics with the phenotypic characteristic of fatigue among individuals with ESRD. Results of the study were reported during a session at the virtual ANNA 2020 National Symposium in a presentation titled Genetic Correlates, Demographic Factors, and Medical Characteristics Associated with Fatigue in Individuals with End-Stage Renal Disease.

The cross-sectional, description study cohort included 122 patients with ESRD. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was utilized to examine gene expression. The Fatigue Assessment Scale (FAS) and the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy—Fatigue Scale (FACIT-F) were used to examine patient-reported fatigue. The data were analyzed using independent samples t-tests and multivariable regression analyses.

Of the 122 individuals in the cohort, 50% (n=61) were classified as having heavy fatigue as measured by the FAS and 29% (n=36) were classified as having heavy fatigue as measured by the FACIT-F scale. There was no significant association between gene expression of NPAS2 and the phenotype of fatigue. There was a significant association between the phenotype of fatigue and depression (P<.0010).

In conclusion, the researchers said, “This study suggests further research should examine the causal mechanism between depression and fatigue in order to identify genetic factors that could potentially explain the high comorbidity of depression and fatigue.”

Source: Davey CH, Webel A, Voss J, Hsiao C-P, Sehgal A. Genetic correlates, demographic factors, and medical characteristics associated with fatigue in individuals with end-stage renal disease. Abstract of a presentation at the virtual 2020 American Nephrology Nurses Association National Symposium, August 29-31, 2020.