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Certain therapies might slow pediatric kidney disease

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Children with only mildly to moderately impaired kidney function experience poor growth, delays in puberty and heart problems, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Therapies for these conditions might help slow the progression of kidney disease in children.

Susan Furth, MD, PhD, and colleagues with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia studied 586 children with chronic kidney disease.

Among the major findings, poor growth, delayed puberty, metabolic problems (such as pH and electrolyte imbalances) and hypertension occurred in children with only mildly or moderately impaired kidneys. Even when children took medications to treat some of these conditions, they were more common as kidney function decreased.

“We were hoping to identify risk factors for CKD progression and see if these can be targeted to slow the decline of kidney function and prevent its complications,” Furth said, according to a news release.

“Our findings suggest that more aggressive interventions to improve blood pressure and metabolic abnormalities may be areas where interventions could slow chronic kidney disease progression and decrease the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in children and young adults with chronic kidney disease. The next step will be to design clinical trials of these interventions based on our findings.”

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