The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) has issued a position statement highlighting the availability of two simple tests that can detect chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the majority of patients: a urine test for identifying proteinuria and a blood test for estimating the glomerular filtration rate.

“CKD is usually silent until its late stages, thus many patients with CKD are detected only shortly before the onset of symptomatic kidney failure, when there are few opportunities to prevent adverse outcomes,” wrote the authors of the statement, which was published in American Journal of Kidney Diseases (2007;50:169-180).

In 2000, an estimated 398,000 individuals (0.2% of the population) had end-stage CKD, requiring dialysis or transplantation. That number is expected to rise to more than 2 million by 2030. CKD is usually silent until its late stages. Earlier detection can help avoid adverse outcomes, particularly in asymptomatic patients at increased risk for CKD.

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The most common risk factors for CKD are diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, family history of CKD, and age older than 60.

The NKF noted that while CKD can be identified in most people using the urine and blood tests, patient management should be individualized according to the cause, type, severity, and rate of disease progression in a particular person, as well as the person’s comorbidities.