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Chronic Kidney Disease: Early Diagnosis is Key

Early diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the primary care population allows clinicians to protect kidney health and prevent progression of the illness and the development of comorbid conditions.

Chronic kidney disease is defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)<60ml/min/1.73m²and/or markers for kidney damage for at least three months. If untreated, CKD will progress through stages until kidney failure occurs. 

Two tests can be used to assess for CKD: estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and urine-creatinine ratio (ACR). However, performance of these tests in patients with diabetes remains low, with rates limited by low uACR testing that vary across Medicare (41.8%) and private insurers (49.0%).

A diagnosis of CKD should be considered for:

  1. Two consecutive eGFRs between 15 and 60 separated by at least 90 days


  1. Evidence of kidney damage as determined by urine markers of kidney damage, specifically proteinuria (urine dipstick 1+ or greater), spot urine albumin creatinine ratio >200mg/g measured on two consecutive dates separated by at least 90 days with or without decreased GFR

If a patient is experiencing other symptoms, such as swollen ankles, hands or feet, shortness of breath or abnormal heart rhythms, then a clinical assessment and judgment are crucial to early diagnosis.    

To learn more about the importance of CKD diagnosis and how to help reduce kidney disease progression and failure statistics, please join Comagine Health's Chronic Kidney Disease Education Series on July 22, 2021, at noon PT/1 p.m. MT. The second session addresses diagnosis and features Dr. Bill Lombard, a recently retired nephrologist and internist from Bellingham, Washington.

Dr. Lombard was the medical director of the Mt. Baker Kidney Center for more than 25 years and served on the PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center Board and Joint Quality Improvement Committee. As a founding member of the Mount Baker Foundation, he has continued work on improving the care and well-being of patients with kidney disease and promoting wider spread understanding of its impact in the general population.

Register for the session here. Registration is required.

For questions regarding the series, please contact Senior Improvement Advisor Gwen Cox at

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