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Kidney Week

Abstract: TH-PO770

Mental Health Diagnoses and Substance Use in Children with CKD in the CKD in Children (CKiD) Study

Session Information

  • Pediatric CKD
    November 07, 2019 | Location: Exhibit Hall, Walter E. Washington Convention Center
    Abstract Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Category: Pediatric Nephrology

  • 1700 Pediatric Nephrology


  • Stahl, Jessica L., University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
  • Vander stoep, Ann, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
  • Wightman, Aaron G., Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, Washington, United States

Mental health disorders are more common in children with chronic illness than in healthy counterparts. While a high prevalence of depression has been noted in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD), other mental health diagnoses and substance use have not been well described.


We evaluated the prevalence of mental health diagnoses utilizing parent-reported child mental health diagnoses and self-reported substance use among participants age 1-16 years at enrollment in the CKiD study. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize the distribution of mental health diagnoses and age of onset. Chi-squared, t-test, and log binomial regression were used to compare demographic factors including sex, race, and maternal education, and CKD characteristics including glomerular versus nonglomerular disease, disease progression, and height between those with and without a reported mental health diagnosis.


Among CKiD participants (n=891) prevalence of any mental health diagnosis or substance use was 55% with mean onset reported at 13 years. The most common conditions were learning disorders (22%), alcohol use (22%), attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders (19%), depression (15%), anxiety (13%), and cannabis use (10%), with 30% reporting multiple diagnoses. Those with mental health diagnoses were more likely to have a mother with some college education (PR 1.2, 95%CI 1.1-1.4) than those without a diagnosis. Reported mental health diagnoses were less common among those who identified as Latino. (PR 0.5 95%CI 0.2-0.8). There were no other significant differences in the assessed demographic or CKD characteristics between those with and without mental health diagnoses.


A broad spectrum of mental health diagnoses are common in children with CKD. Despite limitations inherent in using self-reported retrospective survey data, this study provides impetus for more in-depth assessment of mental health in children with CKD, advocacy for greater mental health resources, and the development of targeted therapies for children with CKD and their families.


  • Other NIH Support