BEACH reveals rising tide of CKD in GP patients
MORE than one in 10 patients seen by GPs have varying degrees of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to latest BEACH data.
The latest national snapshot of CKD revealed it was associated with 10% of all deaths in 2006 and more than one million hospitalisations in 2006-07 alone.
From 2000 to 2007 the rate of people receiving dialysis and kidney transplants rose by 26 per cent.
The report, released last week by the AIHW, included new results from a 2008 BEACH sub-study. This revealed that from a snapshot of 2474 GP encounters with patients aged 24 and older, 10.4% had diagnosed CKD.
Of these, 11.4% were at stage 1, 30.7% at stage 2 and 45.7% stage 3.
Associate Professor Tim Mathew, medical director of Kidney Health Australia, said the report documented the extent of a “chronic disease that is under-recognised by both GPs and by government and one that is escalating in its prevalence at all stages”.
Increased CKD-related mortality rates were largely being driven by the higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease in these patients, said Professor David Power, a nephrologist at the University of Melbourne.
“The link between CKD and [cardiovascular disease] is well described in the literature, but poorly appreciated in practice. Why the link exists is not known.”
He said it was vital to improve detection of the disease among high-risk groups.
“This can be done through specific detection programs, such as the Kidney Evaluation for You (KEY) program recently run by Kidney Health Australia, or by providing incentives to GPs to measure kidney function in at-risk groups.”
Results also identified diabetes as the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease with an increase of more than 65% in new cases of diabetes-related end-stage kidney disease in people aged 55 years or older between 2000 and 2007.