The cost of chronic disease

Kidney disease
Kidney disease © Picsfive/

Chronic kidney disease costs $57.5 billion in U.S. health care dollars, according to the most recent figures reported by the National Kidney Disease Education Program. End-stage renal disease costs $39.5 billion.

Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Major risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure and family history.

"Diabetes is the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease in the U.S.," says Dr. Robert Ratner of the American Diabetes Association. "Not only that, it's the only (cause) that is actually increasing."

According to the National Kidney Foundation, diabetes accounts for 44 percent of all new cases of kidney failure. The second leading cause, uncontrolled high blood pressure, accounts for 28 percent.

Cost-saving health tips: Controlling blood glucose and blood pressure can slow the progression of kidney disease and even prevent it in some cases, Ratner says. Early detection is also key. Most of the 26 million Americans who have the disease don't know it.


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