Doctors have always thought that hypertension and diabetes are two possible signs of chronic kidney disease (CSD), which triggers the development of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Recently, a study on proved that CSD itself may also be an indication of ESRD, even without the presence of hypertension and diabetes.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Chronic Kidney Disease Prognosis Consortium ran tests to see how CKD can act as a warning for ESRD. Basing the results on urine proteins, diabetes types, and kidney function, they found that although the risk of ESRD may be higher with hypertensive and diabetic patients, CKD can cause much damage on its own.

Josef Coresh of the Consortium expounds on the validity of their study, "These data provide support for clinical practice guidelines which stage chronic kidney disease based on kidney function and urine protein across all causes of kidney disease. The conclusions are strengthened by the findings of leading studies and the participation of investigators from 40 countries and a detailed analysis of over one million participants."

This new study may help doctors better evaluate and handle ESRD, but it should also remind us not to take our kidneys for granted. Popping too many painkiller capsules and adding too much artificial sweeteners to your food may slowly bring about illnesses that will later on do permanent damage. Kidney disease is a silent killer, so it’s always important to remain healthy and vigilant.

(Photo by Sadasiv Swain via Flickr Creative Commons)

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