Pennsylvania NEWS

Dept. of Health Reminds Pennsylvanians of Risk Factors of Chronic Kidney Disease

Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine encourages residents to be aware of the risk factors of chronic kidney disease as more than 30 million adults in the United States are affected by this condition and millions of others are at risk of developing it.
“Chronic kidney disease is a serious health condition that decreases the function of the kidneys in a person’s body,” Dr. Levine said. “Anyone can decrease their chances of developing this disease by living a healthy lifestyle. This includes exercising, eating a healthy diet and properly managing any other health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.”

Chronic kidney disease is a condition where a person’s kidneys no longer function properly and stop filtering wastes from the blood stream. Individuals in the early stages of chronic kidney disease may not feel sick or notice symptoms; the only way to be sure someone has the disease is through specific blood and urine tests.

Common risk factors of chronic kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and having a family history of developing the disease. Individuals over the age of 65 also have increased risk of developing the disease. As soon as chronic kidney disease is detected, it can be treated through medicines and lifestyle changes. Treatments can slow down the affects of the disease and prevent additional health problems, such as end-stage renal disease (ESRD), from occurring.

ESRD is a condition where the kidneys are usually functioning at less than 10 percent of their normal capacity. When this happens, dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed.

More than 18,800 Pennsylvanians are receiving dialysis for chronic kidney disease and more than 6,000 individuals with the disease are on the waiting list for kidney transplants. The department’s Chronic Renal Disease Program (CRDP) helps eligible Pennsylvanians who have ESRD with the cost of medical services, transportation services and pharmacy services related to their diagnosis with ESRD. In 2018, nearly 7,000 residents were enrolled in CRDP.

Read more on the Department of Health's website.