The free visits will take place from mid-November in general medical clinics. Patients will be able to receive useful advice on the prevention and management of the disease
There are almost six million Italians affected by
chronic kidney disease
and 850 million people in the world, but only 10 percent of these are known. a disease that does not give obvious signs, remains silent for a long time, but when not treated in time it can compromise the renal function until leading to the
or transplant. Diabetes, hypertension, obesity and familiarity with kidney disease are the most frequent causes.
Primary prevention And early diagnosis are essential to ensure treatment with the drugs available today which are effective, but must be administered when residual renal function is present. Ensuring effective treatments also reduces costs for the National Health Service. Chronic kidney disease is classified into five stages of increasing severity, the final stage of which requires dialysis or transplant. In its initial stages the disease can be silent; often underestimated and diagnosed late – explains Professor Loreto Gesualdo, Aldo Moro University of Bari, President of the Italian Federation of Medical-Scientific Societies (FISM) -. For a long time, therapeutic tools have been limited; today there are new options, such as the SGLT2i drug classwhich have shown important cardiovascular and renal benefits, with greater effectiveness if taken in the early stages of the disease.
Identify patients at risk
Timely diagnosis is fundamental and in this the role of the general practitioner is crucial identify patients at risk in the early stages of the disease thanks to simple tests such as blood tests, such as creatine, eGRF which is used to measure the filtering capacity of the kidneys and complete urinalysis. Based on the results it is possible to intervene early, reducing the need for complex treatments with a high impact on the quality of life of people and their families such as dialysis. To achieve this aim, it is essential to promote close collaboration between general practitioners and specialists, primarily nephrologists, but also cardiologists and diabetologists.
To respond to this need, the national initiative starts in the second half of November 2023 WEEKIDNEY which sees the collaboration between general practitioners and nephrology specialists to promote kidney health. The initiative wants raise public awareness of chronic kidney disease and offer people who have already received the diagnosis or who are at risk the opportunity to have one free nephrological consultation and receive useful advice for the prevention and management of the disease. Those who already have a diagnosis of CKD or have important risk factors will be invited by general practitioners to meet a nephrologist at their clinic. The initiative received the patronage of the Italian Society of General Medicine and Primary Care (SIMG), the Italian Society of Nephrology (SIN) and the Federation of Italian Medical-Scientific Societies (FISM), and the support of the Italian Foundation of Rene (FIR) and organized in partnership with AstraZeneca.
The role of the general practitioner
The general practitioner plays a crucial role as the first ‘sentinel’ figure able to diagnose early and promote virtuous pathways of integrated assistance with the nephrologist and other healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, in several countries, including Italy, there is currently an ‘awareness gap’ in recognizing CKD – explains Dr. Gaetano Piccinocchi, General Practitioner and Member of the National Executive Board of the Italian Society of General Medicine and Treatment Primaries (SIMG)-. The WEEKIDNEY initiative therefore offers doctors and specialists an opportunity for discussion, growth and sharing on patients’ needs and the new care models to be applied. WEEKIDNEY is important because it contributes to raising public awareness and institutions, increasing awareness of the need for prevention and early diagnosis, of the symptoms not to be underestimated and of the correct management of the disease to try to slow down the need for dialysis. Living with CKD presents important challenges for patients and caregivers, including psychological and social challenges. An integrated management of the diagnostic-therapeutic path, through structured territorial networks of doctors, specialists and healthcare workers, can bring benefits to the health and quality of life of patients, and also make them feel more supported from a psychological point of view – underlines Professor Massimo Morosetti, President of the Italian Kidney Foundation (FIR) and Director of the Nephrology and Dialysis Unit of the GB Grassi Hospital in Rome.
November 13, 2023 (modified November 13, 2023 | 2:24 pm)
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