National Survey Finds High Rate of Kidney Disease, Other Health Problems, in People at Risk

Study Suggests That Many Serious Risk Factors For Kidney Disease Are Going


Mar 01, 2005, 00:00 ET from National Kidney Foundation

    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.
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     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

SOURCE National Kidney Foundation