The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the United States has increased in the last 20 years. As
CKD and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are interrelated, it is important to note that trends in the prevalence of CKD and
common risk factors it shares with CVD, such as hypertension and diabetes, are likely to affect the burden of both
diseases in the future. While preventing and treating CVD is of high priority in the primary care setting, a major reason
why CKD continues to burden the US healthcare system is because it remains under-recognized by primary care
physicians and specialists, partly due to a lack of uniform screening recommendations. This paper will review the public
health implications of CKD, including its epidemiology and economic burden in the United States, its risk factor
commonalities with CVD, current screening recommendations and possible prevention strategies for improvement in the
future. Additionally, an emphasis will be made on encouraging primary care physicians to play a more prominent role in
CKD screening and primary prevention.
Keywords: Chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, epidemiology, prevention, primary care, public health, screening.
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