Did you know kidney disease is often called a “silent disease?” This is because there aren’t usually symptoms during the early stages of disease progression. According to the National Institutes of Health, 90% of Americans with chronic kidney disease (CKD) don’t even know they have the disease until it is very advanced.
According to PatientLikeMe’s proprietary data, the largest percentage of PLM users identifying with chronic kidney disease first experienced symptoms before the age of 20, yet the age at which the largest percentage of these users received a diagnosis was between 55-60. This is why staying on top of your health and taking the proper steps to ensure you’re both informed and prepared is critical. Chronic Kidney Disease impacts more than 1 in 7 U.S. adults. Yet, despite its prevalence in the United States, as many as 9 in 10 people are unaware they even have the disease. The good news is the sooner you find out if you are at risk or have kidney disease, the sooner you can take action to better manage your health.
In honor of National Kidney Month last month, we surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers to gauge how well-prepared they feel about managing their healthcare needs and evaluating the general awareness of kidney disease. Here’s what we discovered:
Consumers are open to technological solutions that help prioritize their health.
Almost half (48%) of consumers surveyed visit their doctor annually, and 65% of them said they would feel more confident in going to the doctor if they had an app/service that regularly reminded them to schedule an appointment.
Consumers need to prioritize awareness of their kidney health.
40% of consumers surveyed reported having never checked their kidney function. But, at the same time, the majority (75%) would feel comfortable conducting accurate diagnostic testing for CKD at home, indicating an opportunity to drive better patient engagement with at-home testing.
There’s a lack of general awareness of kidney disease and warning signs to look out for.
A majority (69%) of surveyed consumers are unaware that as many as 9 in 10 adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) do not know they have the condition. Similarly, almost half (47%) are not aware of the warning signs of CKD, signaling that the growing number of consumers with this condition may not have known because they were unaware of warning signs. Subsequently, 50% of respondents do not know that there is no cure for CKD or preventative measures to keep the condition from worsening.
There’s a need for better patient education and healthcare resources.
40% of surveyed consumers do not know any of the risk factors associated with CKD, and 47% of them do not know the warning signs. This signals a need for better patient education and health resources about warning signs, symptoms, treatment, etc.
Younger generations are more likely to leverage technology to manage their health.
Interestingly, age played a factor in how confident consumers would feel in going to the doctor if they had an app/service that regularly reminded them to schedule. Millennials (78%) and Gen Z (75%) had the highest percentage responding yes, showing that younger generations are more likely to leverage technological solutions to manage or schedule doctors’ appointments.
Interested in learning more? Take a look at the findings below.
A Deeper Dive into the Data:
How often do you go to the doctor?
- Once a month – 22%
- More than once a month – 11%
- Every year – 48%
- Very rarely – 17%
- Never – 2%
Who is responsible for scheduling your doctor’s appointments?
- Myself – 96%
- A caregiver – 3%
- Other (please specify) – 1%
Would you feel more confident in going to the doctor if you had an app/service that regularly reminded you to schedule an appointment?
- Yes – 65%
- No – 35%
If you could conduct accurate, diagnostic testing at home (ex. kidney function, cholesterol levels, diabetes screening), would you feel comfortable doing so?
- Yes – 75%
- No – 25%
How frequently do you have your kidney function checked?
- Frequently/Annually – 37%
- It’s been a while (2+ years) – 23%
- I’ve never had my kidney function checked – 40%
Did you know that as many as 9 in 10 adults with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) do not know they have CKD?
- Yes, I am aware of this – 31%
- No, I was not aware of this – 69%
Do you know the risk factors associated with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)? For example: Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, older age, and more.
- Yes, I am aware of all of the risk factors – 31%
- Yes, but I only know a few of the risk factors – 30%
- No, I am not aware of any of these factors – 40%
Did you know that there is no cure for CKD, but the following can help prevent the condition from worsening: Improved diet, increased physical activity, vaccination to avoid infection, quitting smoking, and more?
- No, I did not know that there is no cure for CKD or preventative measures – 50%
- Yes, I know there is no cure, but no did not know of the preventative measures – 26%
- Yes, I know there is no cure, and yes, I know the preventative measures – 24%
Do you or someone that you know live with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?
- Yes, I have CKD – 8%
- Yes, I know someone with CKD – 16%
- No, I do not, nor do I know someone with CKD – 77%
Are you aware of the following warning signs of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): Changes in urination, fatigue, swelling in the ankles, hands, feet, or legs, high blood pressure, and more?
- Yes, I am aware of all of these – 24%
- Yes, but I only knew a few of the warning signs – 29%
- No, I am not aware of any of these warning signs – 47%