Women with chronic kidney disease more likely than men to go undiagnosed

November 1, 2009

Woman are at particular risk of their primary care physicians delaying diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a paper being presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 42nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in San Diego, California. The findings suggest that educating practitioners about CKD could increase the timely diagnosis of CKD, thereby leading to improvements in care to patients and savings in Medicare dollars.

Maya Rao, MD, of Columbia University, reviewed records from nearly 900 patients at 18 rural, community-based primary care clinics in Oregon, to investigate whether primary care physicians accurately diagnosed CKD in patients with known kidney dysfunction. Chronic is estimated to affect up to 19 million adults in the U.S. and is usually diagnosed and treated in the primary care setting. The analysis showed that 52.4 percent of patients found to have CKD did not have a diagnosis in their charts. Females were more likely to be undiagnosed than males, except at the most advanced stages of CKD.

"Chronic kidney disease is very prevalent, uses a great deal of Medicare dollars and needs to be detected early in order to begin an effective treatment plan. Without early diagnosis and treatment, the patient may be more likely to need dialysis and suffer related consequences, such as heart disease," said Dr. Rao. "This study shows that CKD is still being missed by primary care physicians, especially among women patients, and that more education is needed to ultimately improve early detection and diagnosis."

To measure , doctors typically order a called creatinine, but Dr. Rao says this alone is not a particularly accurate measure of kidney function. The serum creatinine should also be plugged into a formula that gives an estimated kidney filtration rate (called glomerular filtration rate, or eGFR) which is a much more accurate estimate of kidney function. Women have a lower eGFR than men for the same level of serum creatinine. Thus, the same serum creatinine level that initially appears normal for both a man and a woman can translate into depressed kidney function for the woman, making her at higher risk for undetected kidney disease. In the study, lab reports that automatically included the eGFR calculation did not show a gender disparity in diagnosis of patients - suggesting that including this value on all serum lab reports could improve diagnosis of CKD in women.

Source: American Society of Nephrology (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Drug blocks Zika, other mosquito-borne viruses in cell cultures

December 12, 2017
If there was a Mafia crime family of the virus world, it might be flaviviruses.

Study seeks to aid diagnosis, management of catatonia

December 11, 2017
Catatonia, a syndrome of motor, emotional and behavioral abnormalities frequently characterized by muscular rigidity and a trance-like mental stupor and at times manifesting with great excitement or agitation, can occur during ...

New compound stops progressive kidney disease in its tracks

December 7, 2017
Progressive kidney diseases, whether caused by obesity, hypertension, diabetes, or rare genetic mutations, often have the same outcome: The cells responsible for filtering the blood are destroyed. Reporting today in Science, ...

New Lyme disease tests could offer quicker, more accurate detection

December 7, 2017
New tests to detect early Lyme disease - which is increasing beyond the summer months -could replace existing tests that often do not clearly identify the infection before health problems occur.

Spinal tap needle type impacts the risk of complications

December 6, 2017
The type of needle used during a lumbar puncture makes a significant difference in the subsequent occurrence of headache, nerve irritation and hearing disturbance in patients, according to a study by Hamilton medical researchers.

Men with HPV are 20 times more likely to be reinfected after one year

December 5, 2017
A new analysis of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) in men shows that infection with one HPV type strongly increases the risk of reinfection with the same type. In fact, men who are infected with the type responsible for ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.