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BACKGROUND: Depression is prevalent in patients with CKD and is related to poor prognosis. Despite the widespread use of antidepressants in the CKD population, their safety remains unclear. METHODS: We identified adults with CKD stages G3-5 (eGFR <60 ml/min per 1.73 m2 not treated with dialysis) and incident depression diagnosis during 2007-2019 from the Stockholm Creatinine Measurements project. Using the target trial emulation framework, we compared the following treatment strategies: (1) initiating versus not initiating antidepressants, (2) initiating mirtazapine versus selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and (3) initiating SSRIs with a lower dose versus a standard dose. RESULTS: Of 7798 eligible individuals, 5743 (74%) initiated antidepressant treatment. Compared with noninitiation, initiation of antidepressants was associated with higher hazards of short-term outcomes, including hip fracture (hazard ratio [HR], 1.23; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.88 to 1.74) and upper gastrointestinal bleeding (HR, 1.38; 95% CI, 0.82 to 2.31), although not statistically significant. Initiation of antidepressants was not associated with long-term outcomes, including all-cause mortality, major adverse cardiovascular event, CKD progression, and suicidal behavior. Compared with SSRIs, initiation of mirtazapine was associated with a lower hazard of upper gastrointestinal bleeding (HR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.29 to 0.96), but a higher hazard of mortality (HR, 1.11; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.22). Compared with the standard dose, initiation of SSRIs with a lower dose was associated with nonstatistically significantly lower hazards of upper gastrointestinal bleeding (HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.35 to 1.34) and CKD progression (HR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.63 to 1.02), but a higher hazard of cardiac arrest (HR, 2.34; 95% CI, 1.02 to 5.40). CONCLUSIONS: Antidepressant treatment was associated with short-term adverse outcomes but not long-term outcomes in people with CKD and depression.

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Journal article


Clin J Am Soc Nephrol

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