… But end-stage renal disease incidence plateaus for now
Managed Care Magazine – Chronic kidney disease (CKD) threatens to become a major health burden in coming years – and that may come as news to many of the Americans who will be affected, according to a study in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. As the authors put it, awareness of CKD “remains low in the United States, and few estimates of its future burdent exist.” In fact, according to federal government health surveys, less than 10% of Americans with the early stages of CKD are aware of their condition.
Researchers at RTI International, a not-for-profit research group, used their own previously developed CKD Health Policy Model to make their predictions. By their reckoning, more than half (54%) of Americans ages 30 and older who don’t currently have CKD will develop the condition some time in their lives.
They also forecast a ramping up of CKD prevalence from the current level of 13.2% to 14.4% in 2020 (28 million Americans). By 2030, their model projects the prevalence will reach 16.7% (38 million Americans).
Lead author Thomas Hoerger, PhD tells Managed Care that the group’s results argue for “interventions to control the conditions that increase the risk of CKD (primarily, tight glycemic control for persons with diabetes and better blood pressure control for persons with hypertension), and [also] partly for the development of new interventions to slow progression among persons in the early stages of CKD.”
The main risk factors for CKD include diabetes, hypertension, and age. Early detection and treatment of CKD can forestall or delay heart disease and kidney failure. Likewise, early treatment of diabetes and hypertension can prevent CKD from developing.
However, as Hoerger and his colleagues point out, the clinical significance of early stage CKD among the elderly with borderline numbers is somewhat debatable, partly because of competing health problems.
Even if these CKD forecasts come true, there’s good news about one of its most dire consequences, end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
Federal government statistics show that ESRD incidence has plateaued in recent years after decades of increases. More aggressive treatment of blood pressure in patients with proteinuric renal disease may by one explanation of the number of new cases of ESRD leveling off. ESRD patients are living longer, so the prevalence of ESRD is increasing.
Reprinted with Permission from Managed Care Magazine | http://www.managedcaremag.com/
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