More Young People Than Ever Have Chronic Kidney Disease

Contributing Editor

The number of Americans living with chronic kidney disease is growing faster in all 50 states than any other noninfectious disease, including heart disease and cancer. Even more troubling: This increase over the past 15 years has also affected younger adults ages 20 to 54, a group for which kidney disease had been uncommon.

The findings, published in JAMA Network Open, warn of kidney disease becoming a silent epidemic, because  many people don’t realize they have it until it’s at an advanced stage. Reseachers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veteran Affairs St. Louis Health Care System analyzed 2002-2016 U.S. health data by age from   the public database of the Global Burden of Disease initiative. Deaths due to chronic kidney disease increased 58 percent, from 52,127 in 2002 to 82,539 in 2016. Among adults 20 to 54, the probability of death due to chronic kidney disease went up almost 26.8 percent.

Researchers pointed to the abundance of high-sugar, high-salt foods in many American diets as contributing factors to the growth in kidney disease, as well as obesity-related health problems including high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Poor diets and metabolic trouble contribute to the buildup of toxins that can interfere with the ability of kidneys to effectively remove waste from the body.

Source: JAMA Network Open