Routine Kidney Test Not Cost-effective

HERSHEY, Pa., April 19 (UPI) — U.S. researchers recommend discontinuing the use of a routine kidney test done by pediatricians for decades.

Researchers at Pennsylvania State College of Medicine in Hershey say the screening urine dipstick to diagnose chronic kidney disease in healthy children is not cost effective. They found the cost of finding one case of diagnosed chronic kidney disease per 800 screening tests came to $2,997.50.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics made the recommendation to discontinue screening urine dipsticks in healthy children to test for chronic kidney disease in 2007,” Deepa Sekhar says in a statement. “However, the practice has still been in use.”

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, concludes the test is not effective, especially since it has not been shown early detection alters a child’s course from chronic kidney disease to end-stage renal disease.

Sekhar and colleagues used data on screening urine dipsticks from 8,954 healthy school children ages 8-15, of whom 1,264 children — 14.2 percent — had abnormal results so the dipstick test was repeated. Only 319 of the repeated tests had an abnormality, with 11 of the 8,954 children — 0.1 percent — found to have some form of chronic kidney disease.

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