NIH: More than 20 million Americans suffer from chronic kidney disease
The organs filter blood, removing molecules that would otherwise build up as waste and cause illnesses.
According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 20 million Americans suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD), a progressive loss of kidney function that happens over a period of months or years.
The condition is also known as chronic renal disease. It is often diagnosed late because its symptoms are non-specific: people suffering from CKD normally first have a general unwell feeling and lose their appetites. CKD is often diagnosed when patients with high risk of kidney disease, such as those suffering from high blood pressure or diabetes, are screened.
CKD often leads to complications such as cardiovascular disease, anemia or pericarditis. To definitively diagnose CKD, a blood test for creatinine is performed.
For more information about chronic kidney disease and related NIH programs, contact NIHinfo@od.nih.gov.
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