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ASN: Kidney Disease Often Undiagnosed in Primary Care

Study finds more than half of chronic kidney disease undiagnosed, especially in women

MONDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of the people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are not diagnosed by their primary care physician, with women more likely to be undiagnosed than men, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 42nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition, held from Oct. 27 to Nov. 1 in San Diego.

Maya Rao, M.D., of Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues reviewed medical records for almost 900 patients at 18 rural, community-based primary care clinics in Oregon to determine if physicians accurately diagnosed CKD in patients known to have kidney dysfunction.

The researchers note that the medical records indicated 52.4 percent of patients with CKD were not diagnosed by their primary care physicians. Further, women were more likely to be undiagnosed than men until the CKD reached an advanced stage.

"CKD 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. 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," Rao said in a statement.

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