Thursday, 3 May 2012

Routine Kidney Disease Screening Not Worthwhile, Experts Say

It's been reported (Health News article, 30th April) that one in ten Americans have chronic kidney disease, but most don't know it and for most it is not a problem, experts say. According to those experts interviewed in the report, in most cases the disease is mild and doesn't affect them.

But when it comes to screening people for kidney problems there appears to be insufficient data to say whether or not this is actually effective. For example, the article says there has been no analysis of how effective blood or urine tests for creatine are at detecting chronic kidney disease.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is calling for studies on identifying and treating chronic kidney disease. They also say it isn't known what the effect would be of treating otherwise healthy people whose disease is not currently a problem.

In the case of those at higher risk of CKD, such as those with diabetes or high blood pressure or African Ammericans, screening is still recommended, as there is evidence this is effective.

It was also pointed out that as most people's kidneys decrease in function with age, mass screening of healthy older people would worry those otherwise healthy individuals whose reduced function was detected.