Why is kidney disease screening important and which patients are considered at risk?

June 10, 2021
Kidney disease is one of several common causes of premature death owing to the important role the organ plays in helping to maintain balance of minerals and fluids within the body, as well as handling foreign substances and medications. If kidney function becomes impaired and is left untreated, detrimental effects could occur. Moreover, kidney disease can strike people at any stage of life, from childhood, adulthood to senior years.

Those with early-stage kidney disease do not tend to have any symptoms, which often leads to patients failing to receive crucial treatment in a timely manner. Kidney screening therefore takes on huge importance.

Reasons why kidney screening is important:
  1. Kidney disease is preventable.
  2. Carrying out a kidney disease risk assessment to check for high-risk factors enables prevention, which is considered better than treatment.
  3. Early-stage kidney disease tends not to present any symptoms, so many people are unaware of its presence and miss the chance to have their condition treated at the outset.
  4. Treating kidney conditions at the outset can slow the advancement of the illness more effectively than treating the issue once it has already taken a firm hold. Slowing down the damage caused at the outset can delay the need to undergo dialysis or renal transplant.

High-risk groups who should undergo screening
Everyone is advised to undergo an assessment to check for kidney disease risk factors and to analyze kidney function even when there are no outward symptoms. However, screening becomes especially important if you belong to one or more of the following high-risk groups:
  1. Diabetics
  2. Those with high blood pressure
  3. Those with a family history of chronic kidney disease
  4. Those with cardiovascular disease
  5. The elderly
  6. Overweight or obese people
  7. Smokers or those who have previously smoked

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