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Kidney Disease Hospitalizations Soar

The CDC reports a dramatic rise in the number of U.S.
hospitalizations of kidney disease.

The annual number of those hospitalizations quadrupled from 1980 to 2005,
according to the CDC.

That figure rose from about 416,000 hospitalizations in 1980 to 1.6 million
in 2005, for a total of about 10 million hospitalizations from 1980 to

Those numbers are hospitalizations, not patients. Some kidney disease
patients may have been hospitalized more than once.

Also, kidney disease wasn't always the reason for hospitalization. Some
people were hospitalized for other reasons, including heart
attack or heart
failure . If their hospital discharge record noted kidney disease, that
counted as a kidney disease hospitalization.

The rise in kidney disease
hospitalizations was greatest in people aged 65 and older. Acute renal
failure cases were up sharply, driving the trend. Acute renal failure
refers to sudden and usually temporary loss of kidney function.

In 2005, acute renal failure accounted for 60% of kidney disease
hospitalizations, up from 7% in 1980. Kidney disease hospitalization rates were
consistently 30% to 40% higher among men than among women from 1980 to 2005,
according to the CDC.

Why the increase in kidney disease hospitalizations? The CDC has two

  • The aging population. Type 2
    diabetes and high
    blood pressure , which make kidney disease more likely, become more common
    with age. So an older population makes for more patients.

  • Changes in the way acute renal failure is diagnosed, defined, or coded in
    hospital records. The National Kidney Foundation issued new guidelines on
    chronic kidney disease in 2002.

The kidney disease hospitalization statistics, based on discharge records
from about 500 U.S. hospitals, appear in tomorrow's edition of the CDC's
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

By Miranda Hitti
Reviewed by Louise Chang
©2005-2006 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved

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