Significant risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD) are not being addressed in the United States, according to a report of the National Kidney Foundation's (NKF) Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP).
This report summarized health information of 37,000 individuals who are at risk for kidney disease. Risk factors include diabetes, hypertension or a family history of kidney disease. Half of the participants in the report had CKD, yet only two percent were aware of it. Those with the disease tend to have other serious health problems, such as obesity and anemia.
"Awareness of risk factors and the need for screening can go a long way toward early detection and prevention of kidney disease," says Allan Collins, MD, president-elect of the NKF and director of the KEEP Data Coordinating Center.
Ninety percent of KEEP participants reported visiting their doctors in the last 12 months," continues Collins, "yet most were not aware that they could be at risk for chronic kidney disease."
The right kind of screening is of critical importance, according to the NKF. Almost half of KEEP participants test positive for microalbuminuria, or trace amounts of protein in the urine, which is the earliest sign of kidney disease.
"The good news is that we appear to be having an effect on many populations that would advance to dialysis or kidney transplantation. Nearly 60 percent of KEEP participants provide post-screening follow-up information and many report consulting with their physicians regarding elevated blood pressure, anemia, and more because of information they learned through the screening," says Collins.
"Ortho Biotech Products, L.P. [the primary sponsor of KEEP] is committed to working with national and local advocacy partners, health care providers and medical institutions to reach patient communities that are affected by chronic kidney disease," said Dr. Marsha Wolfson, senior medical director, Ortho Biotech Clinical Affairs.
"The KEEP program is a vital resource that raises awareness of risk factors and encourages early detection."
"CKD is not just a 'kidney problem.' Kidneys are responsible for filtering toxins out of the body; if they're damaged, the whole body suffers," said Dr. Laura A. Williams, Global Project Head, Abbott, associate sponsor of KEEP. "Abbott supports KEEP and other early diagnosis efforts because, if CKD is recognized early, treatment options are available not only to slow the progression of kidney disease, but also to prevent additional injury to other vital organs and tissues, especially the heart and bones."