NEW YORK, March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The rate of kidney disease in people
with at least one risk factor is nearly five times higher than in the general
population, according to the second annual nationwide survey conducted by the
National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and published in a special supplement to the
March issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the official journal
of the foundation.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050301/NYTU032 )
Moreover, people at risk for kidney disease are several times more likely
to have a host of other potentially deadly health concerns that can increase
that risk or aggravate already-diagnosed kidney problems, including obesity
and anemia, suggesting that doctors need to take a multi-pronged approach to
preventing and treating kidney disease.
"Risk factors for kidney disease include high blood pressure, diabetes or
family history of the disease. More than one-half of people with at least one
risk factor for kidney disease have already developed the condition, and have
similarly high rates of other life-threatening conditions," says Allan
Collins, MD, president-elect of the National Kidney Foundation. "This says
that doctors need to do a better job of finding people at risk of the
condition and catching it early, when treatment is most effective. Doctors
also can't forget patients' additional health problems such as obesity and
anemia, which, like ticking time bombs, become more deadly with time."
This is the second annual report from the National Kidney Foundation's
Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP), a series of nationwide screenings
targeting people at risk of kidney disease and those who are in the early
stages of the disease, when treatment has a chance of slowing, stopping or
reversing its progression. The findings are based on blood and urine tests of
more than 24,000 people, all of whom had at least one of the two leading
causes of kidney failure -- diabetes or high blood pressure -- or a family
history of kidney disease or either risk factor.
The study found that KEEP participants had twice the rate of obesity and
extreme obesity as that seen in the general population. By race, black KEEP
participants had the highest rates of obesity and extreme obesity, at 40
percent and 12 percent, respectively.
In terms of other conditions, approximately half of KEEP participants had
high blood pressure and were obese, while one-quarter said they had been
diagnosed with diabetes. These rates were all significantly higher than those
seen in the general population.
Unfortunately, not everyone who has these conditions knows it, the survey
shows. People younger than 45 were much less likely to know they had
hypertension than older KEEP participants.
In people who had never been diagnosed with diabetes, the rate of high
amounts of blood glucose -- a silent sign of impending diabetes -- increased
with age, and was higher in non-whites and men. The rate of anemia among KEEP
participants increased with age, and by age 75, almost 30 percent were anemic
-- more than twice the rate seen in the general population. Anemia was also
significantly more common in people also diagnosed with kidney disease. Women
had twice the degree of severe anemia as men, regardless of whether they also
had kidney disease. Among non-diabetics, blacks were around three times more
likely to be anemic than whites.
"Clearly, there is much more to kidney disease than just kidney disease,
and both patients and doctors alike can't ignore these other important
conditions that can help cause or aggravate kidney problems," says Collins.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 20 million
Americans -- one in nine adults -- have chronic kidney disease. KEEP is a free
health screening program offered by the National Kidney Foundation. The
Primary Sponsor of KEEP is Ortho Biotech Products L.P. For more information
or for a list of upcoming KEEP screenings, visit http://www.keeponline.org
SOURCE National Kidney Foundation