Kidney disease on the rise in Manitoba: new study

A startling number of Manitobans are living with a potentially fatal condition, according to a new report by researchers at the University of Manitoba's centre for health policy.

14 per cent of adults in province have kidney disease, researchers at University of Manitoba say

Jerry Mitchell uses his iPad during his dialysis in Columbus, Ohio. In Manitoba, 1,800 people have kidney failure and require dialysis treatment, according to a new report by University of Manitoba researchers. (The Associated Press)

A startling number of Manitobans are living with a potentially fatal condition, a new report by researchers at the University of Manitoba's centre for health policy suggests. 

Up to 14 per cent of adults and three per cent of children in the province have chronic kidney disease, states the report Chronic Kidney Disease in Manitoba, released on Thursday.

About 134,000 people have the disease and one-third of those cases are at a "high risk of progressing to kidney failure," the report said.

​The rate of kidney disease among children was particularly surprising to researchers, stated a University of Manitoba news release. 

"The real concern is that because chronic kidney disease is progressive, [children] have a longer lifetime risk of kidney failure," said Mariette Chartier, research associate with the University of Manitoba's department of community health sciences.

"Unless current patterns change, the increasing number of people with kidney failure will hit Manitoba's northern and rural communities especially hard," she said.​

Advanced kidney disease is not only potentially fatal, it is also expensive to treat. Most patients go to clinics for hemodialysis where, per person, the cost for treatment ranges from $95,000 to $107,000 annually, said the report.

About 1,800 Manitobans currently have kidney failure and researchers predict that number will grow to 3,000 by 2024.

"Ideally, we would like to see changes in these trends — less centre-based hemodialysis and more … home-based options offer patients a better quality of life and result in lower health-care costs," said Chartier.

Chronic kidney disease is linked to poverty and is most commonly found in adults who suffer from high blood pressure or diabetes, said the researchers. 


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