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Hope for MA Kids With Kidney Disease

PHOTO: There's new hope for children in the Bay State and the nation, as a new study pinpoints treatable factors which can prevent chronic kidney disease in children. Photo credit: Mike Clifford
PHOTO: There's new hope for children in the Bay State and the nation, as a new study pinpoints treatable factors which can prevent chronic kidney disease in children. Photo credit: Mike Clifford
March 20, 2015

BOSTON - New hope is on the horizon for children suffering from chronic kidney disease, thanks to the results of a new study that, for the first time, identifies some of the factors that can lead to kidney failure.

Many people don't realize that kidney disease can have a profound effect on a child's growth and development, said pediatric nephrologist Dr. Bradley Warady of Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. Warady was co-principal investigator on the study, which looked at nearly 500 kids with chronic kidney disease over 10 years.

"Not only can you develop an inability to remove waste products and fluids, but you may be very short, you may have poor nutrition, you may have poor growth," Warady said, "so it impacts the global development of the child."

Warady said the risk factors they uncovered - including high blood pressure, anemia and protein loss - are treatable, and the hope is that addressing those issues will keep kidney disease from progressing so that kids can avoid having to go through dialysis or even transplants.

Chronic kidney disease is not as common in children as in adults, Warady said, but it can be much more challenging to treat. However, he said, the good news is that many of the underlying issues they uncovered can be successfully managed.

"If we can do that," he said, "maybe - I can't say for sure yet, but maybe - we have a chance of altering the progression or the worsening of chronic kidney disease."

The study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, is published in the National Kidney Foundation's American Journal of Kidney Diseases and is online at ajkd.org.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA