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Challenges of chronic kidney disease prevention

Challenges of chronic kidney disease prevention - Featured Image

The growing global health burden of chronic kidney disease is best tackled through effective prevention

He who cures a disease may be the skillfullest, but he who prevents it is the safest physician — Thomas Fuller (1654–1734)

The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been increasing at an alarming rate over the past two decades as a result of the ageing population and the growing prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and obesity. In Australia, there are about 1.7 million adults over the age of 18 years who have indicators of CKD, such as reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR) or proteinuria.14 A small proportion of these patients will progress to end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), requiring renal replacement therapy. Over the past decade, the number of Australians with ESKD has doubled and is currently over 20 000.5 Providing renal replacement therapy is costly and accounts for 3% of total health expenditure; a significant portion is spent on dialysis.5 It is estimated that the cumulative cost of providing treatment to new and existing patients with ESKD in Australia from 2009 to 2020 will reach $12 billion.5 This places a great burden on society. Although there has been considerable effort…