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19.2 million U.S. adults have chronic kidney disease

Eleven percent of the U.S. adult population has varying stages of chronic kidney disease, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The researchers concluded that chronic kidney disease warrants improved detection and classification using standardized criteria to improve patient outcomes. Their research is published in the January 2003 issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

Of the five categorical stages, with Stage 5 being kidney failure, the largest number of adults, 7.6 million or 4 percent of adults, are classified in Stage 3 in which their glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is 30-59 ml/min/1.73m2. This means that the kidneys filter less than one-half of the amount filtered by a healthy young adult of a similar body size (130 ml/min or 2 gallons/hour). As a result, the kidneys are less efficient at removing toxins and secreting hormones important for healthy blood and bone function. The presence of chronic kidney disease can be detected using simple blood and urine tests relying on serum creatinine to estimate kidney function and urinary albumin to indicate kidney damage.

Josef Coresh, MD, PhD, lead author of the study and associate professor of epidemiology, medicine, and biostatistics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said, "As the population ages, kidney disease will become more apparent. However, there is already a growing recognition of the importance of moderate and severe chronic kidney disease, prior to the onset of kidney failure requiring dialysis, as an important treatable condition. We estimate that 4 percent of U.S. adults, approximately 8 million people, have less than half of the normal kidney function of a young adult. This low level of kidney function is estimated to be present in one out of every five Americans over the age of 65. Another 11 million adult Americans have a persistent presence of at least a small amount of albumin (the main protein in blood)
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Contact: Kenna L. Brigham
paffairs@jhsph.edu
410-955-6878
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
6-Jan-2003


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