Economic burden of chronic kidney disease

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To define the cost of care and evaluate interventions associated with improving outcomes and delaying the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD).


Using the PubMed database, a systematic review of the literature was conducted describing (i) the cost of care associated with treating earlier stages of CKD, and (ii) the role of early referral, erythropoiesis-stimulating proteins and anti-hypertensive agents in improving clinical outcomes and reducing the cost of CKD.


The higher costs associated with treatment of the CKD population are largely due to higher rates and duration of comorbidity-driven hospitalizations. Studies suggest that early referral to a nephrologist, use of erythropoiesis-stimulating proteins and anti-hypertensive agents may be associated with better outcomes and lower costs. In some instances, however, higher target haemoglobin levels could have harmful effects in CKD patients.


The substantial costs incurred during earlier stages of CKD increase markedly during the transition to renal replacement and remain elevated thereafter. An increase in awareness among health care providers may result in more timely interventions. More proactive management, in turn, can lead to improved clinical and economic outcomes through the slowing of disease progression and prevention of comorbidities.

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