The mortality rate for kidney disease is on the decline, according to a study from the United States Renal Data System (USRD). However, patients on dialysis or who have undergone kidney transplantation are living longer, chronic kidney disease is a growing public health issue in the US.
According to data from 2012, there were 639,905 people being treated for end-stage renal disease, including the 114,813 new patients diagnosed in 2012. However, the growth rate for new cases of potentially fatal kidney failure was on the decline from 2010 to 2012.
“It is too soon to declare victory on the war against the rising tide of kidney failure, but our analysis provides some good news about kidney disease in the US,” kidney specialist Rajiv Saran, MD, director of the USRDS coordinating center at the University of Michigan, said in a statement. “We will follow these trends closely to see whether they are sustained over the coming years, study what factors may be responsible for bringing about this positive change, and explore how it may be even further accelerated.”
Meanwhile 14% of adults have chronic kidney disease, which is often caused by diabetes and high blood pressure. Other risk factors include those with a family history of kidney disease, acute kidney injury, or obesity, as well as people age 50 years and older and minorities.
“A comprehensive approach to improving kidney health should include prevention and awareness of chronic kidney disease,” Saran said. “Warning signs are minimal or non-existent, but simple tests can help with early diagnosis.”