Despite the large burden of kidney disease, research on prevention and early detection remains underfunded. At KHRC, we believe that reducing the burden of kidney disease requires a systematic preventive approach that addresses all stages of kidney disease. As in other chronic diseases, prevention is the most cost-effective way to reduce the burden of kidney disease.
Several major obstacles have hindered progress in this area:
(1) The current testing strategies typically detect disease at late stages. In the vast majority of cases, CKD has no symptoms and it is likely to be at an advanced stage by the time it is detected. The current testing strategies can miss many persons with early forms of disease. We need to reliably and accurately detect CKD at early stages, when prevention strategies will have the largest impact.
(2) We do not have systematic strategies to determine which groups of persons are most likely to benefit from CKD screening and early interventions to prevent kidney disease complications. To date, there is little evidence that screening for CKD can improve the prognosis of persons for whom disease is detected early. Clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of screening programs followed by disease management are necessary.
(3) Current prevention and treatment strategies are not tailored to the individual patient. We need to consider each person’s unique biological, personal, social and environmental milieu.