Late Referral of Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease: No Time to Waste

Sprangers, Ben; Evenepoel, Pieter; Vanrenterghem, Yves
November 2006
Mayo Clinic Proceedings;Nov2006, Vol. 81 Issue 11, p1487
Academic Journal
The prevalence of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the US population is approximately 11%, and because of the increase in life expectancy and in diabetic nephropathy incidence, an exponential increase is predicted for the next decades. During the past decade, evidence that the progression of CKD can be attenuated by a muitifactorial therapeutic approach has been increasing. However, a substantial percentage of patients with CKD will have progression to CKD stage V (ie, need for renal replacement therapy). Late referral of these patients (ie, <1 to 6 months before the start of renal replacement therapy) has been shown to be associated with higher mortality, morbidity, and costs. However, up to 64% of patients with CKD are still referred late. This review presents the available data on the epidemiology, causes, and consequences of late patient referral. Furthermore, it offers information to prevent late referral, improve CKD patient care, and change clinical practice.


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