American Diabetes Association
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Chronic Kidney Disease Testing Among At-Risk Adults in the U.S. Remains Low: Real-World Evidence From a National Laboratory Database

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posted on 2021-07-30, 14:16 authored by David Alfego, Jennifer Ennis, Barbara Gillespie, Mary Jane Lewis, Elizabeth Montgomery, Silvia Ferrè, Joseph A. Vassalotti, Stanley Letovsky

Objective: An estimated 37 million Americans have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Nearly 90% do not know about their condition because of low awareness about the importance of CKD testing and diagnosis among practitioners and people at-risk for CKD. This study utilizes data from a national clinical laboratory to identify guideline-recommended CKD testing rates across the United States.

Research Design and Methods: Patients with Laboratory Corporation of America® Holdings (Labcorp®) testing between 2013 and 2019 were defined as at-risk for CKD if they had any testing ordered with diagnosis codes for diabetes and/or hypertension. Guideline-concordant CKD assessment was defined by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and urine albumin-creatinine ratio (uACR) testing within the study year.

Results: We identified 28,295,982 at-risk patients (mean age 60.6 ± 14.8 y, 53.6% women): 16.2% had diabetes, 63.8% had hypertension and 20.1% had both comorbidities. Of these, 80.3% did not receive guideline-concordant assessment during the study period. Furthermore, only 21.0% had uACR testing versus 89.6% with eGFR. CKD assessment occurred at least once in 28.7% of patients with diabetes, 10.5% of hypertensive, and 41.4% of those with both. In a state-by-state comparison, annual testing rates ranged from 5% - 30%. The nationwide rate increased modestly each year between 2013 and 2018 (10.7% to 15.2%).

Conclusions: Despite guideline recommendations, testing for CKD with uACR and eGFR in U.S. adults with diabetes and hypertension is low in routine clinical care. These data highlight the need for strategies to improve routine CKD assessment nationwide.


The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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