DHHS, NIH News  
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive
and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

For Immediate Release
Friday, October 2, 2009

Arthur Stone

NIDDK Announces Availability of More Current Kidney Disease Data

Incidence and prevalence data for end-stage kidney disease in the United States will be available online from the U.S. Renal Data System a year earlier than usual, announces the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. In addition, the data will be updated online every three months and will show quarterly counts of patients at www.usrds.org/qtr/qrt_report_table_new.html.

"These tables provide preliminary estimates, which may change minimally as additional updates become available," said Paul W. Eggers, Ph.D., who directs the NIDDK’s kidney and urology epidemiology programs. "However, these frequent updates will allow researchers to see and investigate trends sooner than previously possible."

The first of the new tables shows incidence and prevalence counts through December 2008. As the tables are updated quarterly, an additional three months of counts will be added. The next update in December 2009 will include patient counts through March 2009.

Previously, incidence and prevalence data had been made available only through yearly updates of the USRDS Annual Data Report (www.usrds.org/adr.htm). Because the report includes detailed data from multiple sources, reporting lagged by about 18 months while data were merged and verified. For example, the 2009 report, which became available this month, has complete data only through 2007.

Data from the USRDS is used by researchers, government officials, health program planners, and others to develop research goals, assess public health needs, set program priorities, and inform policymakers and the public.

More than half a million people in the United States have end-stage kidney disease, requiring frequent dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant. People with the disease account for just 1.2 percent of the Medicare population, but accounted for 7.3 percent of Medicare costs in 2007. The total cost for the disease was $35.32 billion, including coverage by Medicare and other payers, such as employer group health plans.

The USRDS, funded by the NIDDK, collaborates with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, ESRD Networks and the United Network for Organ Sharing in sharing datasets and improving the accuracy of information.

NIDDK, part of NIH, conducts and supports basic and clinical research and research training on some of the most common, severe and disabling conditions affecting Americans. The Institute's research interests include: diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutrition, and obesity; and kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. For more information, visit www.niddk.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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