State Releases Strategic Plan Addressing Kidney Disease: Effort Will Reduce Burden Of Chronic Disease By Focusing On Prevention, Early Detection, and Control Strategies

Contact: T.J. Bucholz (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

March 8, 2005

In its continuing efforts to address chronic disease, Michigan took another decisive step forward today as it presented the state's strategic plan to reduce the burden of chronic kidney disease.

The plan, jointly developed by the Michigan Department of Community Health, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, and the Chronic Kidney Disease Task Force, addresses issues related to preventing the illness before it becomes a serious public health problem.

"Chronic kidney disease is increasingly becoming a public health challenge not only in Michigan, but across the United States, and its burden on our health care system is becoming enormous," said Governor Jennifer M. Granholm. "Michigan's innovative strategic plan for the treatment and prevention of chronic kidney disease should serve as a wake up call for all Michigan's citizens as we work together to create a healthy Michigan and reduce the occurrence of this devastating disease."

Michigan Surgeon General Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom said the plan also establishes a unified course of action among health care providers, public and private health officials, researchers, businesses, community groups, and people with chronic kidney disease to implement the most promising diabetes prevention and control strategies in the most cost-effective ways.

"Michigan can do more to slow the epidemic of chronic kidney disease since 70 percent of it is caused by diabetes and high blood pressure - conditions that can be prevented or delayed," Wisdom said. "It is our hope that the strategic plan serves as a roadmap to help educate adults, as well as children."

 "In 2002, approximately $750 million was spent in Michigan to treat kidney related disease - a cost that could have been reduced significantly if all of us - health care providers, researchers, businesses, and citizens - followed the guidance contained in the state's new strategic plan," said Senator Gilda Jacobs (D-Huntington Woods), a member of the Senate's Health Policy Committee and an outspoken advocate of kidney disease prevention. "This plan will be a key element in countering the spread of kidney disease."

 "The Strategic Plan for Chronic Kidney Disease defines the path we must take to insure Michigan's success in the prevention and treatment of this disease," said Dan Carney, President and CEO of the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan.

Michigan's Strategic Action Plan for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) outlines interventions within the health care setting and the community that will prevent or slow progression of CKD in adults and children. The interventions include:

HEALTH CARE SETTING INITIATIVES - ADULTS Utilize the managed care system to develop chronic kidney disease prevention interventions and assist medical laboratories in providing a "calculated glomerular filtration rate (GFR)," an early kidney disease indicator, on a routine basis to health care providers.

HEALTH CARE SETTING INITIATIVES - CHILDREN Educate general pediatricians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and family practitioners about signs and symptoms of kidney disease in children.

COMMUNITY BASED INITIATIVES - ADULTS Expand education outreach efforts to high risk populations in Michigan, using the lay health advisor model.

COMMUNITY BASED INITIATIVES - CHILDREN Establish a demonstration project in one Michigan community targeting obesity, diabetes, and hypertension in children.

The two leading causes of kidney disease are diabetes (44%) and hypertension (26%). If the disease is left untreated, CKD can lead to total kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life. Kidney failure is expected to double in the United States from 2000 to 2010.

The annual rate of new cases being diagnosed in Michigan is significantly higher than the national rate (340 per million vs. 334 per million). People at highest risk for CKD are those with diabetes and/or hypertension, a family history of kidney disease, seniors, and ethnic/racial groups. Recently, another group of high risk individuals has appeared: children who are being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes because of obesity and inactivity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in three children in the U.S. born in 2000 will be diagnosed with diabetes unless they start eating healthy foods and increasing physical activity. Children who develop Type 2 diabetes are at high risk for developing chronic kidney failure (CKF) at young ages (in their 20's and 30's). Early warning signs of possible kidney disease include high blood pressure, blood and/or protein in the urine, blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and serum creatinine blood tests outside the normal range, frequent urination - especially at night, difficult and painful urination, or puffiness around the eyes or swelling of the hands and/or feet.

task force meeting