Kidney disease: Early diagnosis and analytics are key
Approximately 90,000 Americans die every year as a result of kidney disease. This disease produces no symptoms until it is in the advanced stages, so people in the early stages are not likely to know they have it unless they are tested.
The disease can be detected using a simple, inexpensive test to check for urinary protein. Additionally, a blood test, called an eGFR (for estimated glomerular filtration rate), can be used to measure how much blood the kidneys filter each minute. This is a good indication of how effectively they are functioning.
The disease can be prevented by avoiding some common lifestyle factors. A recent study conducted at Johns Hopkins University included 2300 young adults who were followed for 15 years.
The study found that participants were more likely to develop kidney disease if they smoked, were obese, or had diets high in red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened drinks, and sodium, but low in fruit, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.
In this study, 13% of participants with three unhealthy risk factors developed proteinuria, while only 1% of those with no lifestyle-related risk factors developed proteinuria. In fact, obesity alone doubled the risk of developing kidney disease.
The following population groups were at highest risk:
· People with diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney disease
· People who consumed more soda, red meat, and fast food.
In patients with kidney disease, two medications (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers) have been found to halt or delay the progression of disease in people with diabetes. Additionally, careful control of blood sugar levels can protect the kidneys from further damage.
“The need for interpretive and actionable healthcare analytics has never more important. Patient Engagement Systems [PES] has developed a technology that identifies patients with chronic conditions like chronic kidney disease and provides the primary care physician with the relevant clinical information and guideline-based decision support to enable him or her to manage each individual patient. At the same time, it generates personalized communications from the physician to the patient designed to engage the patient and get him or her back into primary care at appropriate times. Using the PES technology to improve primary care has demonstrated many proven benefits including better outcomes such as reduced inpatient admissions and ER visits; significantly lower costs; and improvements in HEDIS and CMS 5 Star ratings,” said Stanley M. Goldstein, president and CEO of Patient Engagement Systems.