Your November 6 article on the rise of kidney disease ["Kidney Disease Increasing in U.S.," usnews.com] should be commended for pointing out the need for greater education and research in kidney disease prevention and treatment.
On behalf of an organization representing the kidney community, I feel strongly that raising awareness of this epidemic is crucial to help combat the rise of kidney disease nationwide. Kidney disease, which impacts 20 million Americans, has little or no symptoms in its early stages. If left undetected, it can progress to kidney failure with sometimes no warning - in fact, nearly half of people with advanced kidney disease are not aware that their kidney function is on the decline. The kidney community is rallying behind the Kidney Care Quality & Education Act (KCQEA), bi-partisan legislation that would invest in prevention, education and improving the dialysis benefit. While we have made tremendous strides in improving kidney patients' quality of life and health outcomes, major challenges remain. It is only when we dedicate more research to learn more about the contributors of kidney disease progression - obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure among them - that we will be able to more successfully prevent and treat it.
Edward Jones, M.D.
Chairman, Kidney Care Partners