BACKGROUND: Depression is prevalent in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and continues to increase in elderly adults. Therefore, the aim of our study was to examine the relationship between CKD and depression in older patients. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study based on 2013 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data. In total, data of 973 subjects aged ≥65 years were analyzed, and the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation. RESULTS: The prevalence of depression in older adults was 4.1% in men and 8.8% in women (P=0.004). The prevalence of depression did not differ according to CKD stage in women (normal eGFR and CKD stages 1 and 2 women, 41/474 [8.6%]) vs. CKD stages 3–5 women, 6/63 [9.5%]); however, the prevalence of depression in men with CKD stages 3–5 (8/83 [9.6%]) was significantly higher than in men with normal eGFR and CKD stage 1 and 2 (10/353 [2.8%], P=0.010). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the odds ratio for depression in men with CKD stages 3–5 was 3.822 (95% confidence interval, 1.229 to 11.879) after adjusting for social status and chronic diseases (P=0.021). CONCLUSION: The prevalence of depression was higher in elderly women than in men, while the prevalence of depression increased in elderly men with CKD stages 3–5 and was almost equal to that of women. Therefore, elderly men with progressive renal function impairment should be counseled and monitored for psychological problems.