New kidney disease test kit offers 94% accuracy, eases early diagnosis access

Photo Courtesy of KhaoSod

A new effective and accurate diagnostic kit has been developed to screen for early-stage kidney disease, with a correctness rate of 94%, a sensitivity rate of 96%, and a specificity rate of 97.8%. This screening method has been approved by the Thai Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has been proposed for inclusion in the gold card scheme to make it more accessible to the public.

Dr. Nattachai Srisawat, a researcher at the Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Medicine, mentioned that data reported by the Ministry of Public Health in 2021 showed a total of 1,007,251 chronic kidney disease patients, with the number continually rising. The increase is attributed to poor eating habits and consumption of medication for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

According to Dr. Nattachai, the early stages of chronic kidney disease often show no symptoms. Current screening methods require patients to visit hospitals despite the short testing time, resulting in travel expenses and inconvenience, especially for those living in remote areas. The research team developed a screening kit to detect albuminuria, which indicates the onset of chronic kidney disease, with financial support from the Health Systems Research Institute (HSRI). The study involved 2,313 volunteers aged 60 years or older with diabetes or high blood pressure, reported Khaosod.

Results from the study indicated that 595 participants (25.72%) were suspected of having early-stage kidney disease. The kidney disease diagnostic kit demonstrated a high level of accuracy and ease of use. This convenient diagnostic tool could be utilised for self-screening in remote areas, community hospitals, or other health facilities with limited laboratory resources.

Dr. Nattachai believes that the diagnostic kit should be included in the gold card scheme for primary health care services, such as health-promoting hospitals or public health centres, to increase public awareness and encourage a change in poor eating habits and unhealthy lifestyles. The test kit is registered with the Thai FDA, and the research team is currently in discussions with the private sector to produce the kit commercially for distribution.

This breakthrough could potentially lead to a decrease in the number of end-stage kidney disease patients, further benefiting public health efforts in Thailand.

Thailand News

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.