Knowledge is Power: First-Ever National Online Surveillance System for Chronic Kidney Disease to Debut Summer 2012

Washington, DC (May 10, 2012) - A centralized surveillance system has been established to combat the public health epidemic of chronic kidney disease (CKD) through open access to information, according to updates presented at the National Kidney Foundation’s Spring Clinical Meetings held here this week.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded two teams of researchers at the University of Michigan (UM), Ann Arbor and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), to jointly develop and implement a CKD surveillance system designed to assess the impact of CKD on the state, regional, and national level. The teams, led by Dr. Rajiv Saran (UM) and Dr. Neil Powe (UCSF) are collecting, integrating and analyzing existing health care data sets to create the online system.

Chronic kidney disease affects 10-15% of the US population. According to Dr. Saran, “CKD is the Cinderella of chronic diseases and suffers a lack of due recognition by both health care professionals and policy makers alike. It is imperative that greater resources be made available to raise awareness, stimulate discussion and to ultimately change the treatment practices and policies surrounding CKD so that fewer people are faced with kidney failure.”

According to the National Kidney Foundation, when chronic kidney disease and its risk factors are detected and managed early on, the escalation to kidney failure and end stage renal disease (ESRD) can often be prevented.

This is the first government-supported resource which aims to reduce the adverse consequences of CKD. By creating a centralized data repository, information surrounding the burden of the disease, its risk factors, its complications, and its economic impact, will now be available in an easy-to-navigate format, complete with interactive tools to track CKD and its associated issues.

A federally-funded surveillance system for chronic kidney failure has existed for decades called the United States Renal Data System. “Until now, there has been no surveillance system for Chronic Kidney Disease to take snapshots of the health outcomes of the American population. This is a landmark step forward to increase awareness of chronic kidney disease as a major public health problem among clinicians, clinical researchers, public health officials and policy makers.” said Joseph Vassalotti, MD, National Kidney Foundation Chief Medical Officer.

The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing and treating kidney disease, improving the health and well being of individuals and families affected by these diseases and increasing availability of all organs for transplantation. For more information visit