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More emphasis needed on kidney care

6th August 2012

A report by NHS Kidney Care has shown that kidney disease is the cause of more deaths than breast and lung cancer put together.

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The study, called "Chronic Kidney Disease in England: The Human and Financial Cost" was written by Marion Kerr.

She said if the disease was found earlier it could make a significant impact on how people were treated and reduce the cost to the health service's of £1.4 billion caused by the condition. 

She added: "Chronic kidney disease has a much greater impact on people's lives, and on NHS costs, than is generally recognised."

Chronic kidney disease causes the kidneys to remove waste from the blood less effectively.

The study showed that nearly 50% of NHS spending was on dialysis or kidney transplants, but only 2% was spent on people with chronic kidney disease.

Ms Kerr commented: "Most of the spending on CKD is for people with advanced disease. We hope this report will focus attention on the need for early detection and intervention, to reduce the human and financial cost of advanced kidney disease."

Dr Charlie Tonson, chairman of the Royal College of Physicians renal medicine committee, said: "Patients with early kidney disease are particularly likely to benefit from lifestyle changes and drug treatments aimed at the risk factors for heart disease and strokes, as these will help reduce the risk of progressive kidney disease."

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