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Semin Nephrol. 2002 Nov;22(6):441-8.

Chronic kidney disease in the United States: an underrecognized problem.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology, New England Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


The continued growth of the population with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is partially related to the underrecognition of earlier stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and risk factors for the development of CKD. There are several published estimates of the prevalence of CKD in the United States. From Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data it has been estimated that there are 6.2 million individuals with serum creatinine levels at or above 1.5 mg/dL, or 8.3 million individuals with decreased glomerular filtration rate (<60 mL/min/1.73 m (2)). Estimates of prevalence from a health maintenance organization study suggest that there are 4.2 million Americans with persistently elevated serum creatinine levels. In addition to the high prevalence, several studies have shown that CKD is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, hospitalizations, and mortality. To promote earlier detection of CKD, The National Kidney Foundation Guidelines for CKD: Evaluation, Classification and Stratification, recommended screening individuals at increased risk for CKD, such as patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, and family history of kidney disease. Therapeutic interventions to delay progression and reduce comorbidity, such as cardiovascular disease, are more likely to be effective if they are implemented early in the course of CKD.

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