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Large Disparities in Kidney Testing Based on Disease, Gender and State, Quest Diagnostics Health Trends(TM) Report Finds
Date:3/12/2008

MADISON, N.J., March 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diabetes and hypertension are the two leading risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD), responsible for up to two-thirds of cases. Yet a new study that will be presented at a National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meeting next month indicates there is wide discrepancy in diagnostic testing for kidney disease among patients with these conditions, with patients with high blood pressure (hypertension) tested at half the rate as those with diabetes. The Quest Diagnostics Health Trends(TM) Report, "Chronic Kidney Disease - An Analysis of Testing Rates by Co-Morbidity, State and Gender in the U.S.," which is based on tests ordered for more than 5 million patients, also highlights large discrepancies in diagnostic testing by state and gender, with a distinct bias in diagnostic testing favoring men in every age range.

The latest Quest Diagnostics Health Trends Report provides new insights into testing trends for CKD in at-risk diabetes and hypertension patients, expanding on information provided by the company's earlier Health Trends Report on Chronic Kidney Disease. The first report, which was presented in November 2007, examined testing rates for patients with diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease and CKD in the U.S., and found that a majority of these patients are not being tested for CKD according to medical guidelines. Diagnostic testing in patients with one or more of these high-risk conditions is essential to identify CKD and to slow or halt disease progression. More than 25 million American adults have CKD, and deaths from untreated CKD have increased 52 percent over the last 16 years.

The March 2008 Quest Diagnostics Health Trends(TM) Report announced today reviewed the use of microalbumin testing, a widely available urine test of kidney damage and a key indicator of CKD. The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) recommends that adults with diabetes and/or hypertension receive an annual tes
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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics Inc.
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