A new report released by the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) shows that the number of premature deaths linked to dialysis and kidney transplants has decreased. This good news reveals that efforts to improve treatment options and procedures have helped decrease complications.

The annual data report shows both positive and negative kidney disease trends in the country. Though the incidence of premature or early death has dramatically decreased, the number of people being diagnosed with acute kidney failure has increased.

USRDS is the coordinating center based at the University of Michigan Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center, in collaboration with Arbor Research Collaborative for Health. The data shows that there were fewer number of deaths reported among patients who underwent kidney transplant and dialysis in 2013. Dialysis-related premature deaths decreased by 28 percent while kidney transplant-related deaths decreased by 40 percent, since 1996.

"Overall trends for end-stage kidney disease are promising for those affected," said Dr. Rajiv Saran, director of the USRDS center.

"Patients on dialysis are living longer and equally positive, survival rates have steadily improved among recipients of both living and deceased donor kidney transplants," he added.

Among patients who do not need to go to hospitals or dialysis centers and just use a dialysis machine at home, the number increased by 52 percent than 10 years ago. Though the numbers are promising, there's still an accompanying bad news.

According to the report, the number of patients being diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease is increasing. The number of people undergoing dialysis has increased by 4 percent in 2013 and there were 466,607 dialysis patients that increased by 63.2 percent since 2000.

The same scenario can be seen among kidney transplant patients. During the conduct of the report, the active waiting list for kidney transplants was 2.7 times greater than the supply of kidney donors. By year 2013, there were 17,600 kidney transplants performed.

Dr. Saran added that kidney disease can be caused by a variety of other diseases. Many lifestyle-related chronic health conditions like hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes and other cardiovascular problems can contribute to kidney problems.

Early diagnosis and treatment of these underlying problems are essential to prevent kidney disease. For those already suffering from kidney disease, controlling other complications may help keep the disease under control.

Photo: Sadasiv Swain | Flickr 

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