One million people have kidney disease but don't know it
The chronic condition costs the NHS in England more than 1.4bn each yearThis is more than amount spent on breast, lung, colon and skin cancer combined

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UPDATED:

09:01 GMT, 6 August 2012

Kidney disease costs the NHS more than breast, lung, colon and skin cancer combined, yet an estimated million cases remain undiagnosed and untreated, according to a report published today by NHS Kidney Care.

The study revealed the chronic condition costs the NHS in England more than 1.4bn each year, which is more than the combined spend
on breast, lung, colon and skin cancer.

Around 1.8m people in England have been
diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, which it where the kidneys become less effective at filtering waste products from blood.

The number of people receiving dialysis or transplant increased by 29 per cent between 2002 and 2008

The number of people receiving dialysis or transplant increased by 29 per cent between 2002 and 2008

However, an estimated million people have the condition without realising it, which means they are not receiving help to tackle the disease
in its earlier stages. Early treatment can prevent the need for expensive
dialysis or transplant and cuts the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

The number of people receiving dialysis or transplant increased by 29 per cent between 2002 and 2008. Total prevalence of CKD (diagnosed and undiagnosed) is also believed to be increasing.

The study found that half a million people with CKD were not tested in 2009-10 to see if they would benefit from certain kidney drugs. The experts estimated that around 29,000 would have been prescribed the medication as a result, ultimately saving the NHS 13million a year.

NHS Kidney Care is urging GPs to improve the detection and early treatment of CKD, and has developed a range of professional resources to help them do this.

Beverley Matthews, Director of NHS Kidney Care, said: 'Chronic kidney disease, if unchecked, can have a devastating impact on people’s lives and as this study shows, it is also a major drain on NHS resources.'

Dr Donal O'Donoghue, National Clinical Director for Kidney Care, said, 'This report from the NHS Kidney Care team is a wake-up call for everyone involved in the fight against kidney disease. As a kidney doctor for over 25 years, one of the most enduring themes has been missed opportunities to identify kidney disease early.''

The study Chronic Kidney Disease in England: The Human and
Financial Cost has been published in the journal Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation.