Few people know they have chronic kidney disease

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 17, 2005

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The number of people with kidney failure doubled in the past 10 years, and the number starting dialysis or having a transplant went up by 50%. The number of people with early kidney disease, however, remained stable, with 7.4 million having less than half the kidney function of a healthy adult and another 11.3 million having protein in their urine, according to a study published in this month's Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Researchers who analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that this means that 10 million to 20 million people have chronic kidney disease but are not aware of it.

"We need to increase awareness, diagnosis and treatment if we are going to reduce the rate of progression and complications," said Josef Coresh, MD, PhD, lead author and professor of epidemiology, medicine and biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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