CHICAGO, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- The burden of chronic kidney disease, as well as the probability of death related to chronic kidney disease, have increased substantially over the past 15 years in all 50 U.S. states, a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System has showed.
And such increases also were seen in younger adults aged 20 to 54, a group in which kidney disease had been uncommon.
To compare rates of kidney disease with other diseases, the researchers tapped into a public database of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) initiative, which provides a detailed epidemiologic assessment of about 350 diseases and injuries by age and sex, as well as more than 80 risk factors.
The researchers measured and compared the percent change in healthy life-years lost due to kidney disease with the diseases and injuries in the GBD database. They found that chronic kidney disease rates are increasing faster than the rates of all noninfectious diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, cirrhosis and other chronic lung diseases, mental disorders and neurological disorders.
The measure of how many years of healthy life are lost is often referred to as "disability-adjusted life years." During the 15-year period covered by the study, health loss due to kidney disease increased by 18 percent, while the burden of cardiovascular disease and cancer have decreased by 22 percent and 13 percent, respectively.
"The decline is largely reflective of medical advances in cardiovascular disease and cancer treatment," said Ziyad Al-Aly, the study's senior author and an assistant professor of medicine at the university. "Similarly, the increase in chronic kidney disease reflects a relative stagnation in new treatments. There have been no major advances to slow or reverse kidney disease during the past two decades."
Overall, deaths due to chronic kidney disease increased 58 percent from 52,127 in 2002 to 82,539 in 2016.
While deaths attributable to chronic kidney disease are rare among younger people, the numbers are rising. Among adults aged 20 to 54, the probability of death due to chronic kidney disease increased almost 26.8 percent, from 0.1 percent or 100 deaths per 100,00 people in 2002 to 0.125 percent, 125 deaths per 100,000 people, in 2016.
Those of 55 years and older experienced a 25.6 percent increase in deaths due to chronic kidney disease, from 1.95 percent or 1,950 deaths per 100,000 people in 2002 to 2.45 percent or 2,450 deaths per 100,000 people in 2016.
Chronic kidney disease also accounted for a 52-percent increase among all age groups of healthy life-years lost, from 1.2 million in 2002 to 2 million in 2016.
The findings were published on Nov. 30 in JAMA Network Open.