Hope for Protecting Children from Kidney Disease
Dr. Bradley Warady of Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., is the co-principal investigator on the study, which followed nearly 500 children with chronic kidney disease over ten years. Warady says many people don’t realize that kidney disease can have a profound effect on a child’s growth and development.
“Not only can you develop an inability to remove waste products and fluids, but you may be very short, you may have poor nutrition, you may have poor growth,” he explains. “So, it impacts the global development of the child.”
Warady says the risk factors investigators uncovered – including high blood pressure, anemia and protein loss – are treatable, and the hope is that addressing those issues will keep kidney disease from progressing so that children can avoid having to go through dialysis or organ transplants.
Chronic kidney disease is not as common in children as it is in adults, but Warady notes it can be much more challenging to treat. He says the good news is that many of the underlying issues investigators uncovered can be successfully managed.
“If we can do that, maybe – I can’t say for sure yet, but maybe – we have a chance of altering the progression or the worsening of chronic kidney disease,” he says.
The study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, is published in the National Kidney Foundation’s American Journal of Kidney Diseases.