The Key Role of Primary Care
The earlier microalbuminuria is detected, the better the chance of targeting CKD and CVD while their progression can be stopped. Yet because microalbuminuria is not accompanied by noticeable symptoms, its detection among those at risk depends on you who work in primary care.1 Fortunately, screening for microalbuminuria in primary care is natural and convenient, thanks to the availability of accurate point-ofcare tests. But most importantly, it has the potential to reach those groups that the ISN has in focus. People with type 2 diabetes or hypertension are most often treated in primary care. And those in the risk zone for either condition, especially if they are older than 50, are likely to undergo annual check-ups. At the very least, people in all of these groups seek out primary care for medical advice or the examination of general symptoms.2
Closeness and familiarity
In many ways, the very nature of primary care offers advantages, both when it comes to microalbuminuria screening and the subsequent prevention of CKD and CVD. Since your patients turn repeatedly to your clinic or practice, you are the one best informed as to which of them ought to be tested. Not only do you have access to their medical histories, you also have a relationship with them that lets you identify smoking, obesity and other lifestyle risks.
When this knowledge is applied in the form of proactive screening, it enables the early detection and treatment that can preserve your patients’ quality of life. If, on the other hand, they are tested only after symptoms appear, the treatment options available to them may be limited.
By the time a patent is referred to a nephrologist or cardiac specialist, major damage will have already occurred.
1 Albuminuria – The Current Key to Early Intervention. Per Ĺke Zillén. Touch Briefi ngs 2009:16-17.
2 Management of chronic kidney disease in primary health care: position paper of the European Forum for Primary Care. Rosenberg M, Kalda R, Kasiulevicius V, Lember M; European Forum for Primary Care. Qual Prim Care. 2008;16(4):279-94.
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