Mona Shand

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - New hope is on the horizon for children suffering from chronic kidney disease, thanks to the results of a study released today that, for the first time, identifies some of the factors that can lead to kidney failure.

Dr. Bradley Warady, pediatric nephrologist of Children's Mercy was the co-principal investigator on the study, which looked at nearly 500 kids with chronic kidney disease over 10 years. Warady says many people don't realize 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 says. "So it impacts the global development of the child."

Warady says the risk factors they 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 kids can avoid having to go through dialysis or even transplants.

Warady says chronic kidney disease is not as common in children as it is in adults, but it can be much more challenging to treat. But he says the good news is that many of the underlying issues they uncovered can be successfully managed.

"If we can do that, 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.

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