Nav: Home

Rates of chronic kidney disease, deaths outpace other diseases

November 30, 2018

Advances in treating cancer, heart disease and other major health conditions in recent decades have extended life spans for millions of people.

However, chronic kidney disease is an outlier, with cases accelerating at a faster pace than all other noninfectious diseases, according to a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System.

The researchers found that the burden of chronic kidney disease, as well as the probability of death related to chronic kidney disease, have increased substantially over the past 15 years in all 50 U.S. states. Such increases also were seen in younger adults ages 20 to 54, a group in which kidney disease had been uncommon.

The findings are published Nov. 30 in JAMA Network Open.

"Unfortunately, chronic kidney disease is known as a 'silent epidemic' because many people don't realize they have it until the disease is at an advanced stage," said Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, the study's senior author and an assistant professor of medicine. "It is particularly concerning that chronic kidney disease is becoming more common in younger people. This is a remarkable move in the wrong direction."

The researchers noted that the abundance of high-sugar, high-salt foods in many American diets and obesity-related health problems such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are likely driving the increase in kidney disease. This is because poor diets and metabolic problems contribute to the buildup of toxins that can interfere with the kidneys' job, which is to remove harmful waste from the body.

The researchers also showed that the increasing rates of chronic kidney disease varied considerably by state. For example, while all states experienced rising rates of chronic kidney disease, significantly higher increases occurred in states with the highest obesity rates among adults -- such as West Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama.

"The findings suggest the need to address the health risks such as diabetes that can lead to kidney disease," Al-Aly said. "This means healthier diets and exercise, as well as increased monitoring by health-care workers of patients with obesity or metabolic disorders who are at a greater risk of developing kidney disease."

To compare rates of kidney disease with other diseases, the researchers tapped into a public database of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) initiative. It provides a detailed epidemiologic assessment of about 350 diseases and injuries by age and sex, as well as more than 80 risk factors, in all U.S. states and countries worldwide. For this study, the analysis focused on U.S. data by age from 2002 to 2016.

The researchers measured and compared the percent change in healthy life-years lost due to kidney disease with the diseases and injuries in the GBD database. They found that chronic kidney disease rates are increasing faster than the rates of all noninfectious diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, cirrhosis and other chronic lung diseases, mental disorders and neurological disorders.

The measure of how many years of healthy life are lost is often referred to as "disability-adjusted life years." During the 15-year period covered by the study, health loss due to kidney disease increased by 18 percent, while the burden of cardiovascular disease and cancer have decreased by 22 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

"The decline is largely reflective of medical advances in cardiovascular disease and cancer treatment," Al-Aly said. "Similarly, the increase in chronic kidney disease reflects a relative stagnation in new treatments. There have been no major advances to slow or reverse kidney disease during the past two decades."

Overall, deaths due to chronic kidney disease increased 58 percent from 52,127 in 2002 to 82,539 in 2016.

While deaths attributable to chronic kidney disease are rare among younger people, the numbers are rising. Among adults ages 20 to 54, the probability of death due to chronic kidney disease increased almost 26.8 percent, from 0.1 percent (or 100 deaths per 100,00 people) in 2002 to 0.125 percent (125 deaths per 100,000 people) in 2016.

"This also is worrisome from an economic perspective because it is the younger adults, in particular, who often contribute most to economic prosperity on local, state and federal levels," Al-Aly said.

Those 55 years and older experienced a 25.6 percent increase in deaths due to chronic kidney disease, from 1.95 percent (1,950 deaths per 100,000 people in 2002 to 2.45 percent (2,450 deaths per 100,000 people) in 2016.

Chronic kidney disease also accounted for a 52 percent increase among all age groups of healthy life-years lost, from 1.2 million in 2002 to 2 million in 2016.

"Public health priorities, policy initiatives, funding allocation and advocacy efforts need to catch up to this reality that the burden of chronic kidney disease is rising, and the speed of change now outpaces other noncommunicable diseases," Al-Aly said. "A concerted effort should be made to put the brakes on this."
-end-


Washington University in St. Louis

Related Diabetes Articles:

The role of vitamin A in diabetes
There has been no known link between diabetes and vitamin A -- until now.
Can continuous glucose monitoring improve diabetes control in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin
Two studies in the Jan. 24/31 issue of JAMA find that use of a sensor implanted under the skin that continuously monitors glucose levels resulted in improved levels in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin multiple times a day, compared to conventional treatment.
Complications of type 2 diabetes affect quality of life, care can lead to diabetes burnout
T2D Lifestyle, a national survey by Health Union of more than 400 individuals experiencing type 2 diabetes (T2D), reveals that patients not only struggle with commonly understood complications, but also numerous lesser known ones that people do not associate with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity -- what do we really know?
Social and economic factors have led to a dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity around the world.
A better way to predict diabetes
An international team of researchers has discovered a simple, accurate new way to predict which women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes after delivery.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Older Americans with diabetes living longer without disability, US study shows
Older Americans with diabetes born in the 1940s are living longer and with less disability performing day to day tasks than those born 10 years earlier, according to new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
Reverse your diabetes -- and you can stay diabetes-free long-term
A new study from Newcastle University, UK, has shown that people who reverse their diabetes and then keep their weight down remain free of diabetes.
New cause of diabetes
Although insulin-producing cells are found in the endocrine tissue of the pancreas, a new mouse study suggests that abnormalities in the exocrine tissue could cause cell non-autonomous effects that promotes diabetes-like symptoms.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Reducing sugar content in sugar-sweetened drinks by 40 percent over 5 years could prevent 1.5 million cases of overweight and obesity in the UK and 300,000 cases of diabetes
A new study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal suggests that reducing sugar content in sugar sweetened drinks (including fruit juices) in the UK by 40 percent over five years, without replacing them with any artificial sweeteners, could prevent 500,000 cases of overweight and 1 million cases of obesity, in turn preventing around 300,000 cases of type 2 diabetes, over two decades.
Breastfeeding lowers risk of type 2 diabetes following gestational diabetes
Women with gestational diabetes who consistently and continuously breastfeed from the time of giving birth are half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes within two years after delivery, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente published today in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Related Diabetes Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Changing The World
What does it take to change the world for the better? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on activism—what motivates it, why it matters, and how each of us can make a difference. Guests include civil rights activist Ruby Sales, labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, author Jeremy Heimans, "craftivist" Sarah Corbett, and designer and futurist Angela Oguntala.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#520 A Closer Look at Objectivism
This week we broach the topic of Objectivism. We'll be speaking with Keith Lockitch, senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, about the philosophy of Objectivism as it's taught through Ayn Rand's writings. Then we'll speak with Denise Cummins, cognitive scientist, author and fellow at the Association for Psychological Science, about the impact of Objectivist ideology on society. Related links: This is what happens when you take Ayn Rand seriously Another Critic Who Doesn’t Care What Rand Thought or Why She Thought It, Only That She’s Wrong Quote is from "A Companion to Ayn Rand"