A new online tool is designed to estimate kidney failure risk in chronic kidney disease. The online tool combines results of common medical tests and can estimate with high accuracy the risk of a person developing kidney failure within two to five years if they already have chronic kidney disease. The tool not only helps distinguish a high-risk patient for kidney failure, but offers peace of mind for those living with chronic kidney disease of knowing if they are at risk of not.
Estimates of Americans diagnosed with chronic kidney disease are over 20 million and 660,000 have kidney failure. Dr. Josef Coresh, researcher in the study, said, “This tool allows doctors to sit down with their patients and explain how likely it is that their kidneys will fail in the near future. While the tool can aid in management of a patient’s disease and prepare them for the worst, many more patients will find the results reassuring. You can reassure a lot of worried people with the fact that their risk is actually very low. The vast majority of patients will not need dialysis.”
The original tool was first created by Canadian researchers, but it was criticized for lack of data on African-Americans who have high rates of chronic kidney disease. With the new model, more data is entered covering all races and ethnicities allowing it to be more accurate.
Coresh added, “We’ve known which were the important tests to consider in determining the risk of kidney failure, but we didn’t know exactly how to put them together and we didn’t have a high level of confidence that this tool could be used widely. Now we do.”
The tool not only helps determine kidney failure risk, but it can also be useful for adhering to medications, promoting lifestyle changes, and improving diet.
Co-author Dr. Morgan E. Grams added, “Dialysis and transplantation are expensive and complicated and take planning. Knowing ahead of time allows people to consider their options.”
Common kidney failure treatments involve dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis can either be hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, and your doctor will aid you in deciding which type of dialysis is best for your form of treatment.
Treatment decisions are based on a few different criteria:
No matter what form of treatment you and your doctor decide on, it’s important that you stick to it by closely following any laid-out diets, prescription medications, or other lifestyle changes that your doctor has recommended.
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