Checklist will locate people at risk of chronic kidney disease

December 23rd, 2008 - 11:59 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 23 (IANS) Doctors have no way of knowing which of their patients are likely to develop chronic kidney disease (CKD). Now, the task has been made easy by a simple eight-point risk-factor checklist. Created by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, the model accurately identifies middle-aged and older patients at high risk for newly diagnosed CKD, which involves a gradual, even fatal loss of kidney function over time.

“We discovered that a scoring system that included eight key risk factors - older age, anaemia, female sex, hypertension, diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and any history of congestive heart failure or cardiovascular disease - accurately predicted which of the older patients would proceed to CKD and which would not,” said study co-author Heejung Bang, assistant professor in the department of public health at Weill.

According to National Kidney Foundation, 26 million American adults have CKD and millions of others are at increased risk.

“These patients are often battling concurrent conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, so anything we can do to predict and then lower their risk for kidney disease will be invaluable,” said study co-author Phyllis A. August, professor at Weill Cornell and nephrologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

August and colleagues combined data from two major studies, the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities trial and the Cardiovascular Health Study, which together total 14,155 men and women aged 45 years or older.

All of the participants had a filtration rate of a normal, healthy kidney. Researchers then tracked their health during a follow-up of up to nine years, including those whose filtration rate fell below the healthy threshold.

They also tracked a wide variety of risk factors thought important to the onset of CKD. Overall, a total of 1,605 participants from the two cohorts went on to develop CKD over the course of follow-up, said a Weill Cornell-California release.

The findings were published this month in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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