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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

CKD. If kidney disease worsens, wastes can build to high levels in the blood, potentially leading to complications such as hypertension, anemia (low blood count) and kidney failure. Kidney disease also increases the risk of heart and blood vessel diseases. Clinical evidence has shown that early detection and treatment of CKD could slow or prevent the progression of the disease to chronic kidney failure, as well as reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and death. Deaths from CKD have increased 52 percent over the last 16 years.

About CKD Testing

Two of the most widely used tests for CKD are the microalbumin test and the estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR). Physicians use the results of these tests to determine the status of kidney function, whether kidney disease has developed suddenly or as a long-term process, and the cause of kidney damage. The microalbumin test is a simple measurement to detect protein in the urine. Persistent protein in the urine is a sign of CKD. The eGFR is considered the most accurate way to detect changes in kidney function. An eGFR below 60 is an indication of significant kidney function loss. Tests for eGFR and microalbumin are available at virtually all medical testing laboratories in the U.S.

Study Methodology

The Quest Diagnostics Health Trends(TM) Report is based on an initial review of test results from November 2005 to October 2006, for patients ages 18 and older. Patient matching software was used to assign a "patient matching" identification number, so that a de-identified data set of individual patient results, matched over time, could be created. The de- identified data was then aggregated for analysis. The result was a HIPAA- compliant data set that allowed the company to analyze data on the level of the individual patient, while assuring that patients could not be identified by name, address, physician name, or similar features.

The analysis was based on results of 6.2 million eGFR
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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics Inc.
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