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Category: Kidney Diseases
Inexpensive lab tests may hold the key to slowing down the growing epidemic of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which is the focus of World Kidney Day, March 12.
Approximately 27 million Americans have CKD, an increase of 30 percent over the past 10 years. But this trend can be slowed down or stopped through early detection and treatment made possible by laboratory tests, according to the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA).
Kidney disease costs about $60 billion annually and often results in kidney failure, cardiovascular disease and anemia. Two critical lab tests tell physicians how severe the disease is, what may have caused it and what treatments might halt the disease for many patients and prevent it in others.
"Two inexpensive laboratory tests may be all it takes to detect chronic kidney disease early in many patients," said Alan Mertz, president of the American Clinical Laboratory Association. "Even if a patient already has the disease, testing and medication can help keep it under control and slow down some of its deadly complications, such as heart disease and kidney failure."
Routine testing for groups that are at higher risk of CKD are important because the disease is usually a silent condition until the late stages. It can develop from diabetes, high blood pressure or from urinary stones or infections.
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