Nutritional status, psychological issues and survival in hemodialysis patients

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Contributions to Nephrology






There is a high prevalence of protein-energy malnutrition in the end-stage renal disease population. There are a number of causes of malnutrition in hemodialysis patients, which can often be directly linked to the uremic state. Laboratory measures including albumin, prealbumin, and serum cholesterol, as well as anthropometric measures, have been used to assess malnutrition in this patient population. There is, however, no single accepted measure of malnutrition in patients with chronic kidney disease. Failure to achieve adequate nutritional goals may lead to protein-energy malnutrition, which has been linked to decreased survival. Several studies have also shown a direct association between psychosocial variables, including depression, and the nutritional status of hemodialysis patients, in particular the serum albumin concentration. Interventions such as oral nutritional supplements or intradialytic parenteral nutrition may be necessary to improve nutritional status if conservative measures such as nutritional counseling and regular dietician follow-up fail to produce the changes needed to sustain health. In addition, given the potential link between psychological conditions, such as depression, and overall nutritional status, interventions designed to screen for and treat psychiatric disorders may lead to improvements in nutritional status and therefore increased survival rates of patients with end-stage renal disease treated with hemodialysis. Further study is needed to evaluate the association between depression, malnutrition, and survival in patients with chronic kidney disease. Copyright © 2007 S. Karger AG.