Chronic kidney diseases represent a new and rapidly developing worldwide threat, according to the International Society of Nephrology (ISN). Today, more than 1 million people around the world are alive on renal dialysis. The incidence and prevalence of kidney failure have doubled in the last 15 years and are expected to continue to increase. According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 20 million people in the United States--one in nine adults--have CKD, and most don't even know it.
There is a clear need for the development of a "uniform and global public health approach to this worldwide epidemic," states an article in the October issue of Kidney International. Data shows that kidney disease can be detected through simple tests in its early stages and then effectively treated. In end stages, dialysis treatment keeps patients alive, though sufferers of kidney disease, who are also susceptible to heart disease, are actually more likely to die from the latter, before even reaching stages where they would need dialysis. Thus, early detection and proper care are imperative to slow kidney failure and premature death from complications. Recently, clear evidence-based guidelines and actual clinical practice have been proven to be the best approach to addressing the problem of inadequate care.
Dr. Garabed Eknoyan, corresponding author of the paper outlining KDIGO, notes "The implementation of previous initiative guidelines, such as the Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative, by federal and private providers has been shown to favorably affect practice and outcomes. Similar initiatives have been launched in other countries." Dr. Eknoyan is one of the co-chairs of KDIGO.