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Study: Kidney transplant, dialysis patients surviving longer

The number of dialysis patients is more than 60 percent larger than in 2000 and the prevalence of end-stage kidney disease is much higher than a decade ago.
By Stephen Feller   |   Jan. 18, 2016 at 5:31 PM

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Dialysis and kidney transplant patients are surviving longer, however rates of end-stage kidney disease continue to increase, according to new research.

The United States Renal Data System and University of Michigan found in a new study that although treatment of kidney disease patients has improved in the last 20 years more people are developing kidney conditions.

"Overall trends for end-stage kidney disease are promising for those affected," says Dr. Rajiv Saran, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan and director of the USRDS, in a press release. "Patients on dialysis are living longer and equally positive, survival rates have steadily improved among recipients of both living and deceased donor kidney transplants.

According to the report published at the United States Renal Data System website, 28 percent fewer dialysis patients and 40 percent fewer kidney transplant patients died in 2013 than in 1996.

However, prevalence of end-stage kidney disease increased 4 percent in 2013, making the 466,607 patients in the United States 63.2 percent larger than in 2000, while the number of people using home dialysis machines is 52 percent higher than in 2003.

The waiting list for kidney patients also is 2.7 times larger than the supply of donor kidneys.

The researchers said low awareness of kidney disease is a concern, as are low rates of screening for the condition. Improvements to lifestyle-related health conditions and better monitoring could help slow the growth of the number of kidney disease patients, they said.

"Several lifestyle-related chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases can contribute to kidney disease," Saran said. "Monitoring and early treatment of those conditions are key to prevention, and can help patients keep their kidney disease under control."

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