A recent report released by the U.S. Renal Data System (USRDS) highlighted both the good and the bad trends in the life of Americans affected by a severe kidney condition that requires either dialysis or a kidney transplant. The report shows that while the number of patients that require dialysis or a transplant rose since the 1990s, these kidney disease patients have higher odds of survival now.
The report has found that fewer Americans in the waiting line for a kidney transplant die of the disease now than in the 1990s. Researchers found that mortality rates among this group of patients dropped from 40 percent in 1996 to 28 percent in 2013. The good news included dialysis patients as well.
Unfortunately, there was an increase in the number of patients with a kidney disease that requires either dialysis or an organ transplant because kidneys are so damaged that they can no longer remove the waste and excess water by themselves.
The report revealed that the number of dialysis patients rose by 63.2 percent since the 2000 to more than 466,000. Plus, the number of patients that perform a dialysis in the comfort of their own home is now larger by 52 percent than 10 years ago.
Investigators also found that the number of people on the waiting line for a kidney transplant is now 2.7 greater than the number of available organs. Rajiv Saran, head of the USRDS coordinating center, described the new findings as ‘promising’ for kidney disease patients.
He noted that survival rates are on an upward trend for both dialysis and kidney transplant patients. He also underscored that people that depend on dialysis to stay alive currently live longer.
Nevertheless, there are areas that need to be improved in these patients’ case too, Dr. Saran noted. He explained that type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure are risk factors that may trigger a kidney disease.
He believes that by tackling those life-style related conditions, prevalence of kidney disease in the U.S. could significantly drop, and people already diagnosed with a kidney disease could keep the condition under control.
Furthermore, the approach could also benefit economy since health care costs related to kidney disease would be reduced, study authors said. For instance, lawmakers had to expand Medicare budget to $50 billion just to treat kidney disease sufferers aged 65 or over.
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