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Chronic kidney disease rises while most people with the condition remain unaware
Date:11/9/2007

A growing number of Americans have chronic kidney disease, but most remain unaware of it, hampering efforts to prevent irreversible kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published November 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

An estimated 26 million people about 13 percent of the U.S. population now have chronic kidney disease, say researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston and Cleveland Clinic Foundation. This new report raises by 3 percent the previous estimate of 20 million people with the disease in 1994.

Increases in diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and the aging U.S. population explain at least some of the increase, says co-author Paul W. Eggers, Ph.D., director of kidney disease epidemiology at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the NIH. We dont know what may be responsible for the rest.

The study analyzed and compared National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data on adults age 20 or older from 1988 to 1994 and 1999 to 2004. More than 15,000 and 13,000 adults, respectively, were interviewed at home and had a physical exam and blood and urine tests. The surveys were conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kidney function was estimated for each participant with a formula that considers the amount of creatinine in a blood sample, along with age, gender and African American race, which can affect results. Creatinine is a waste product created by normal breakdown of muscle cells during activity. When kidneys are ailing, creatinine builds up in the blood. A small sample of urine was checked for a protein called albumin. Damaged kidneys may persistently leak albumin from the blood into the urine, sometimes even when kidney function appears normal.
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Contact: Mary Harris
niddkmedia@mail.nih.gov
301-496-3583
NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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