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New Hope for Maine Children with Kidney Disease

PHOTO: A new study identifies treatable factors that can prevent chronic kidney disease in children, offering new hope for children in Maine and around the nation battling the disease. Photo credit: Mike Clifford.
PHOTO: A new study identifies treatable factors that can prevent chronic kidney disease in children, offering new hope for children in Maine and around the nation battling the disease. Photo credit: Mike Clifford.
March 24, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine - 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.

Dr. Bradley Warady of Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City was the co-principal investigator on the study, which looked at nearly 500 children with chronic kidney disease over 10 years.

Warady says many people don't realize kidney disease can have a profound effect on a child's growth and development.

"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," says Warady. "It impacts the global development of the child."

Warady says the study uncovered a number of treatable risk factors, including high blood pressure, anemia and protein loss. The hope is that addressing those issues will keep kidney disease from progressing so children can avoid having to go through dialysis or even transplants.

According to Warady, chronic kidney disease is not as common in children as it is in adults, but it can be much more challenging to treat. He says the good news is many of the underlying issues the study uncovered can be successfully managed.

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

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is published in the National Kidney Foundation's American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - ME