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Study exposes main reason behind kidney function decline in patients with kidney disease

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A study has discovered the primary cause of renal function decline in people with kidney disease living in low/lower-middle income nations

When patients develop kidney disease, dietary and nutritional modifications are required; however, recent research published in CJASN finds that there are considerable gaps in care linked to the role of nutrition for kidney health in many countries.

Nutritional therapies in people with renal disease can help to halt the decline of kidney function, delay the need for dialysis or kidney transplantation, and alleviate symptoms.

Using a questionnaire for a Global Kidney Nutrition Care Atlas, Dr. Angela Yee-Moon Wang from Queen Mary Hospital, The University of Hong Kong) and her colleagues examined two aspects of kidney nutrition care included in the Atlas: the current global availability, capacity, and cost of kidney nutrition care services; and communication between dietitians and nephrologists in the provision of kidney nutrition care.

In order to compile the Atlas, a survey was distributed online to major kidney care stakeholders (nephrologists, politicians, and representatives from consumer organizations) in 182 ISN-affiliated countries. In total, 160 of 182 nations (88%) replied, with 155 countries (97%) responding to the survey questions about renal nutrition treatment.

The following are the results of the survey:

  • More than half (52%) of the world’s 155 countries do not have nutritionists/kidney dietitians who can give kidney nutrition care.
  • In 65% of low/lower-middle income nations, dietary counseling provided by a nutritionist is not available, and in 23 percent of low-income countries, it was ‘never’ available.
  • For renal nutrition care, 41% of nations do not conduct a formal assessment of nutritional status.
  • Oral nutrition supplements are not widely available in low/lower-middle income nations, and they are rarely free in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
  • In more than 60% of countries around the world, dietitians and nephrologists only speak ‘sometimes’ about renal nutrition management.

“This global survey is an important wake-up call to countries across the income spectrum,” the authors note.

“It exposes gaps and concerns related to kidney nutrition care, serving up a plate full of food for thought that must now be followed by action,” concludes the author.

Source: American Society of Nephrology

Image Credit: Getty

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