Kidney disease patients reap rewards of prevention

May 7, 2009

Making sure you see your doctor and have tests run on a regular basis can prevent serious complications of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The results suggest that patients who follow preventive measures are more likely to stay healthy.

CKD affects more than 1 in 10 adults in the United States and can lead to serious cardiovascular complications and premature death. The National Kidney Foundation has published guidelines on preventive care measures that may help slow disease progression. But how effective are these measures?

Jon Snyder, PhD (United States Renal Data System, Minneapolis), and his colleagues tested their effectiveness by analyzing Medicare data from recent years (approximately 1.2 million patients per year). They classified CKD and diabetes during year one, assessed preventive care during year two, and evaluated incidence during year three.

The researchers found that increasing preventive measures correlated with lower rates of heart disease. CKD patients who received influenza vaccines and had their lipids, calcium-phosphorus levels, and parathyroid hormone levels (and blood glucose levels if they were diabetic) monitored had lower rates of heart disease and heart-related deaths during the following year.

"Patients using preventive measures had lower cardiovascular disease event rates in the subsequent year, leading us to hypothesize that more diligent care of these patients and evidence-based treatment recommendations are successful at preventing morbid events in the subsequent year," said Dr. Snyder.

Changes in heart disease rates in the following year ranged from 10% lower for those who received influenza vaccinations and two or more blood glucose tests to 43% lower for those who had their calcium-phosphorus levels assessed.

More information: The article, entitled "Association of Preventive Health Care with Atherosclerotic Heart Disease and Mortality in CKD," will appear online at jasn.asnjournals.org/ on May 7, 2009, doi 10.1681/ASN.2008090954.

Source: American Society of Nephrology (news : web)

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