Worldwide approach tackles kidney disease

October 25, 2004

A new initiative, "Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes" (KDIGO), has been established to assemble international expertise and resources in addressing the global epidemic of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

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.

The International Board of KDIGO will work to develop, implement and evaluate plans to improve outcomes of CKD. Success will depend on this development and on how it is received by the international community.

The KDIGO initiative complements the worldwide activities of the International Society of Nephrology and supports ISN's objectives of early detection and prevention of kidney disease. As a worldwide organization, ISN will partner and work closely with the KDIGO initiative on developing guidelines from a global perspective, with special attention to local and regional relevance.
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This study is published in Kidney International. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article please contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

About the Author
Garabed Eknoyan, M.D., has co-chaired a similar regional (USA) initiative for the past decade called Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI) which works to develop clinical practice guidelines to improve outcomes for patients with kidney disease. Dr. Eknoyan is available for questions and interviews and can be reached at geknoyan@bcm.tmc.edu.

About Kidney International
Kidney International, published on behalf of the International Society of Nephrology, is one of the most cited journals in nephrology. Kidney International delivers current laboratory and clinical research on renal medicine. This peer-reviewed, leading international journal is the most authoritative forum for renal science and medicine. Kidney International continues to be a vital source of information for researchers around the world. For additional information on the journal, please visit www.blackwellpublishing.com/kid.

About the International Society of Nephrology
The International Society of Nephrology (ISN) is committed to the worldwide advancement of education, science and patient care in nephrology. This goal is achieved by means of the Society's journal, the organization of international congresses and symposia, and various outreach programs around the world. The ISN acts as an international forum on nephrology for leading nephrologists as well as young investigators, from both developed and emerging countries. Further information is available at www.isn-online.org.

About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher. The company remains independent with over 900 staff members in offices in the US, UK, Australia, China, Denmark, Germany, and Japan. Blackwell publishes over 700 journals in partnership with more than 550 academic and professional societies.

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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