br> Time-saving tools for health professionals at www.nkdep.nih.gov, including eGFR calculators that eliminate most of the work to estimate kidney function; and a letter template, which automatically calculates patient-specific eGFR, generates a list of next steps based on kidney disease stage and is designed to improve communication between kidney specialists and primary care physicians.
In 2003, nearly 537,000 people received dialysis or a kidney transplant. The cost to Medicare was $18.1 billion, with another $9.2 billion borne by private insurers and patients. Another 10 million people in the United States have earlier kidney disease; most don't know they have it, let alone that the disease increases the risk for premature death, heart attacks, strokes, and other problems.
"We could prevent or delay a lot more kidney failure, simply by using the box of tools that are already in the trunk," said Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., a kidney specialist and director of NIDDK's Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases.
NIDDK, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), conducts and supports research and education programs on kidney disease and diabetes, among others. Learn more about NIDDK programs and diseases at www.niddk.nih.gov.
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