According to the Milken Institute, in 2016, chronic diseases cost the U.S. economy $3.7 trillion in direct healthcare treatment ($1.1 trillion) and lost economic productivity ($2.6 trillion) combined, equivalent to 19.6% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. Said a different way, nearly 20% of the U.S. economy is lost to chronic disease.
Many of these diseases are preventable, and early detection and treatment can help.
So how do we stem the tide of CKD/ESRD? Kidney health should be part of an annual physical exam if it isn’t already. A simple blood and urine test can detect kidney disease early when lifestyle changes and appropriate medical care can prevent the onset of CKD or slow its progression.
Understand risk factors — women are more likely to develop CKD than men, but men are more likely to see their CKD progress to ESRD than women. And people of color are more likely than whites to develop CKD.
Be engaged in your healthcare— find the right doctors, communicate and collaborate with them on your care, and, most importantly, adhere to any agreed-upon treatment plan.