(HealthDay News) — Hospitalized patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) frequently are unaware of their condition, according to research published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Milda R. Saunders, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Chicago, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study of 590 general medicine in-patients with CKD using ICD-9 codes for non-dialysis-dependent CKD from the first 20 admission diagnoses. Awareness of CKD was defined as correct patient self-report of “kidney problems.”

The researchers found that 32% of patients were aware of their CKD. Of 161 patients with advanced CKD, 48% of patients with stage 4 CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR], 15 to 29) and 63% of patients with stage 5 CKD (eGFR <15), reported having CKD. After multivariable analysis, factors significantly associated with patient self-report of CKD included advanced stage of disease, other race (non-white, non-African American), and increasing score on the Mini-Mental State Exam. Although it increased among patients with advanced disease who would benefit from referral to multidisciplinary nephrology care, CKD awareness was still low.

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“Further work is needed across hospitals to determine—and improve—CKD awareness among both patients and providers,” the authors write.


  1. Saunders, MR; Dahei Kim, S; Patel, N; et al. Journal of Hospital Medicine, volume 10, issue 9, pages 619–622, September 2015; doi: 10.1002/jhm.2395.