Patient Communication Increases Awareness of CKD

Chronic #kidneydisease (CKD) affects around 37 million Americans. The disease contributes to the death of thousands of people.  However, for a variety of reasons the disease can go undetected for years leading to series issues for patients. At the beginning of 2023, AstraZeneca released information suggesting that as many as 85% of patients with Stage 3 (moderate) CKD may be undiagnosed. Lack of diagnosis clearly poses health threats for patients.  Patient communication helps to increase awareness of this disease so that it can be diagnosed earlier.

In the early stages of kidney disease, there might be no noticeable symptoms, or the symptoms could be subtle and nonspecific, such as fatigue, mild changes in urine pattern, or mild swelling. As a result, individuals might not realize that they have a kidney problem. Therefore, they may not seek medical help or tests that could help diagnose the problem.

Many cases of kidney disease are discovered during routine medical check-ups. During these check-ups, healthcare providers may order standard blood and urine tests to assess kidney function. These tests can reveal abnormalities in kidney function, even if the patient is not experiencing noticeable symptoms.

#pharmaceutical companies and advocacy groups are helping to address problems with patient education programs, intended to draw further attention to CKD. The goal is to develop awareness among both patients and healthcare providers so the condition can be diagnosed sooner (and critical treatment provided).

In January of this year, the AstraZeneca ran a new direct to consumer spot (DTC) spot called “We Are Targets” for Farxiga, aimed squarely at the 9 in 10 adults it says have CKD but are unaware of it.  They may be managing their diabetes but may not recognize the risk that is posed by CKD.

In a release connected to the spot, an AZ official said, “[There is a] staggeringly low rate of diagnosis in CKD.” “An urgent need exists for improved screening.”