Prevalence of chronic kidney disease and its risk factors among family practice patients in Lithuania

Inga Arūne Bumblyte, Alanta Zilinskiene, Raymond Vanholder, Leonas Valius, Vytautas Kuzminskis
Clinical Nephrology 2012, 78 (3): 198-206

BACKGROUND: Early detection of chronic kidney disease (CKD) by the first line is essential. In many countries, serum creatinine measurements are reimbursed in home practice. In Lithuania however, until recently they were not. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of risk factors of CKD in primary care patients, to evaluate the awareness of family practitioners and, finally, to investigate renal function parameters in patients at risk.

METHODS: We reviewed the charts of adult patients (n = 4,082) from four home practices in Kaunas and identified patients at increased risk for CKD (severe arterial hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), other causes of kidney damage). We noted age and gender in all patients, and renal function measurements performed over the preceding 24 months in the patients at risk. In the second part, we assessed nephrological status (history, clinical characteristics, serum creatinine, dipstick urinalysis and microalbuminuria, estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) by the abbreviated MDRD formula) for those at risk who were referred by their family practitioners.

RESULTS: In total, 458 (11.2%) patients had risk factors for CKD. Severe arterial hypertension was found in 62.6% of these patients, diabetes in 20.9%, CVD in 6.2% and 34.5% had a history of kidney damage. Kidney tests had been performed by family practioner in 59% of these patients. Only 30.3% of these patients were referred to the nephrologist and an additional 20.1% came after receiving an invitation letter. eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 was found in 42.9% of these patients, 23.4% had microalbuminuria and 7.8% overt proteinuria. Optimal blood pressure control (< 130/85 mmHg) was achieved in a minority (10.4%). 79.7% had abnormal BMI, 39% used no ACEI/ARB, and 16% were smokers. Kidney dysfunction was associated with a higher prevalence of microalbuminuria and a lower use of ACEI/ ARB.

CONCLUSIONS: Risk factors for CKD were present in 11% of the patients in this primary care cohort. Kidney dysfunction was found in almost half of the patients at risk. However, awareness of this problem by family practitioners was low.

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