Prevalence of poorer kidney function increases among adults 80 years of age and older

September 24, 2013, The JAMA Network Journals

Recent studies have shown that older adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD; defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate [GFR; a measure of kidney function] of less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) have a high prevalence of concurrent complications and increased risk for adverse outcomes including mortality, cardiovascular disease, and kidney failure. A prior study demonstrated an increase in CKD prevalence between 1988-1994 and 1999-2004 for the general U.S. population. However, trends in CKD prevalence have not been reported for the oldest old [defined as 80 years of age or older]," write C. Barrett Bowling, M.D., M.S.P.H., formerly of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Atlanta, and colleagues.

As reported in a Research Letter, the authors used data from national surveys (the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) 1988-1994 and 1999-2010), to study participants age 80 years or older who completed a medical evaluation in the NHANES mobile examination center (n = 3,558).

The researchers found that the prevalence of an estimated GFR of less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 was 40.5 percent in 1988-1994, 49.9 percent in 1999-2004, and 51.2 percent in 2005-2010. The prevalence of a more severe reduction in estimated GFR (less than 45 mL/min/1.73 m2) was 14.3 percent in 1988-1994, 18.6 percent in 1999-2004, and 21.7 percent in 2005-2010.

The findings point to a rise in prevalence in CKD among people 80 years and older and suggests that "efforts to address CKD among the oldest old may be necessary," the authors conclude.

Explore further: Moderate kidney disease costs medicare tens of billions of dollars each year

More information: doi:10.l001/jama.2013.252441

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