Mr Richard Guest, CEO-Siemens Healthcare, India and South Asia cluster
According to statistics, nearly 10 percent of the world's population suffer from kidney disease. Early chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a silent killer and a person may lose about 90 percent of kidney function before any symptoms are noticed. In an effort to combat this growing health crisis, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics and the US-based National Kidney Foundation (NKF) have devised a simple urine test to help improve diagnosis of CKD and identify the disease early on. The NKF recommends that healthcare professionals screen for kidney disease with this simple urine ACR test during the annual physical examination of high-risk individuals.
Q. Please elaborate on the ACR test developed for early detection of CKD in patients?
A. Elevated levels of albumin in urine provide an early warning sign that the kidneys are not functioning properly. Screening for increased urinary albumin excretion can be performed by measuring the albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) in a random spot collection. Ratios utilizing creatinine account for the variability of urine concentrations, ensuring the accuracy of untimed specimen collections.
The analysis of a spot sample for the ACR is strongly recommended by most authorities. The other two alternatives (24-hour collection and timed specimen) are rarely necessary. (Source: Standard of Medical Care in Diabetes, America Diabetes Association Position Statement, Diabetes Care, Volume 27, Supplement 1, January 2004).
Q. What is the potential of the renal diagnostic market across India?
A. CKD is a condition affecting almost 200 million people around the world today. (Source: World Health Organization [who.org]). Of these, about 20-30 percent will develop a kidney disease, which is the most common complication of diabetes (Source: International Diabetes Federation). Early CKD often has no sign or symptoms. A person can lose up to 90 percent of their kidney function before experiencing any signs. (Source: National Kidney Foundation, kidney.org/kidneydisease/global-facts-about-kidney-disease).