One in seven adults in Hawai‘i has kidney disease. An additional one in three people are at risk for getting it, and most don’t know it. Kidney disease can be found and treated early to prevent more serious kidney disease and other complications. Three simple tests can help.
Blood pressure. High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney disease (diabetes is the number one cause). High blood pressure sometimes happens as a result of kidney disease. Keeping blood pressure under control is important to lower risk of kidney disease.
Urinalysis. Protein is not normally found in urine, so having too much may be a problem. Several tests can be helpful. One test, the protein tocreatinine ratio, measures protein in the urine. Another test, the albumin to creatinine ratio, is good for people at increased risk for kidney disease — people with diabetes or high blood pressure, and people with a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney failure.
Glomerular filtration rate (GFR). GFR is estimated from results of a blood test and tells how well your kidneys are working. GFR is calculated using blood creatinine and other factors, such as age and gender. It is a way to check kidney function. A blood creatinine test alone should not be used to check kidney function.
Ask your doctor about these three simple tests. If you are over 60 years old and at increased risk, the National Kidney Foundation recommends that testing be done at least once a year.