Women with chronic kidney disease more likely than men to go undiagnosed

Nov 01, 2009

Woman are at particular risk of their primary care physicians delaying diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a paper being presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 42nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in San Diego, California. The findings suggest that educating practitioners about CKD could increase the timely diagnosis of CKD, thereby leading to improvements in care to patients and savings in Medicare dollars.

Maya Rao, MD, of Columbia University, reviewed records from nearly 900 patients at 18 rural, community-based primary care clinics in Oregon, to investigate whether primary care physicians accurately diagnosed CKD in patients with known kidney dysfunction. Chronic is estimated to affect up to 19 million adults in the U.S. and is usually diagnosed and treated in the primary care setting. The analysis showed that 52.4 percent of patients found to have CKD did not have a diagnosis in their charts. Females were more likely to be undiagnosed than males, except at the most advanced stages of CKD.

"Chronic kidney disease is very prevalent, uses a great deal of Medicare dollars and needs to be detected early in order to begin an effective treatment plan. Without early diagnosis and treatment, the patient may be more likely to need dialysis and suffer related consequences, such as heart disease," said Dr. Rao. "This study shows that CKD is still being missed by primary care physicians, especially among women patients, and that more education is needed to ultimately improve early detection and diagnosis."

To measure , doctors typically order a called creatinine, but Dr. Rao says this alone is not a particularly accurate measure of kidney function. The serum creatinine should also be plugged into a formula that gives an estimated kidney filtration rate (called glomerular filtration rate, or eGFR) which is a much more accurate estimate of kidney function. Women have a lower eGFR than men for the same level of serum creatinine. Thus, the same serum creatinine level that initially appears normal for both a man and a woman can translate into depressed kidney function for the woman, making her at higher risk for undetected kidney disease. In the study, lab reports that automatically included the eGFR calculation did not show a gender disparity in diagnosis of patients - suggesting that including this value on all serum lab reports could improve diagnosis of CKD in women.

Source: American Society of Nephrology (news : web)

Explore further: Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nephrologists debate uses of estimated kidney function

Jul 30, 2008

A routinely available laboratory result called the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) provides a simple indicator of kidney function and may increase early diagnoses of chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, widespread ...

Larger labs report kidney function routinely

Oct 14, 2008

Labs that conduct the highest number of routine blood tests are more likely than others to report estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), an important measure of kidney function that can identify early kidney disease, ...

Low thyroid function common in chronic kidney disease

Jun 11, 2008

Many patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have mild reductions in thyroid function, or subclinical hypothyroidism—a condition that becomes more common as kidney function declines, according to a study in the September ...

Updated formula measures kidney function more accurately

Feb 24, 2009

Measuring kidney function in children can be expensive, time-consuming for clinicians, and tedious for children, who may be exposed to radioactivity and subjected to a large number of blood draws. A new calculation eliminates ...

Younger doctors recommend kidney transplantations earlier

Oct 29, 2009

Compared with veteran doctors, recent medical school graduates are more likely to refer chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients for kidney transplantation before their patients require dialysis, according to a paper being presented ...

Recommended for you

Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

18 hours ago

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

Jan 30, 2015

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

What exactly is coronavirus?

Jan 30, 2015

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq are straining public health systems and public health efforts meant to prevent and detect the spread of infectious diseases. This is generating a "perfect storm" of conditions for outbreaks. Among the infections raising concern is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, caused by a type of coronavirus, which emerged in 2012. ...

Scientists find Ebola virus is mutating

Jan 30, 2015

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers working at Institut Pasteur in France have found that the Ebola virus is mutating "a lot" causing concern in the African countries where the virus has killed over eight thous ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.