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One in Eight Taiwanese Has Chronic Kidney Disease

The disease nearly doubles the risk of death

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- About 12 percent of the Taiwanese population has chronic kidney disease, which nearly doubles their risk of death, though most are unaware that they have the disorder, researchers report in the June 28 issue of The Lancet.

Chi Pang Wen, M.D., from the National Health Research Institutes in Zhunan, Taiwan, and colleagues estimated the prevalence and mortality from chronic kidney disease in Taiwan in 462,293 individuals (over 20 years of age) who participated in a standard medical screening program starting in 1994. By 2006, there were 14,436 deaths.

The researchers report that 11.9 percent of subjects had chronic kidney disease, but only 3.5 percent were aware of their disorder. Chronic kidney disease substantially increased the risk of dying from any cause (hazard ratio, 1.83) and from cardiovascular disease (HR, 2.00). Of the deaths, 10.3 percent overall were attributable to chronic kidney disease, but 17.5 percent were attributable to the disorder among those of low socioeconomic status, the report indicates. About 40 percent of deaths in patients with chronic kidney disease occurred before 65 years of age. Regular use of Chinese herbal medicines increased the risk of chronic kidney disease (odds ratio, 1.20), the investigators found.

"The high prevalence of chronic kidney disease and its associated all-cause mortality, especially in people with low socioeconomic status, make reduction of this disorder a public-health priority," Wen and colleagues conclude.

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