By Jillian Rose Lim
Our kidneys work hard to keep us healthy, from regulating fluids, to flushing out waste, to supporting strong, supple bones. Protecting these key functions is especially critical for children, who rely on the all-important organ to keep their bodies growing and nutrients flowing. Thankfully, chronic kidney disease (CKD), in which kidneys sustain progressive and permanent damage over time, is rare in children. But this rarity also means researchers and clinicians need to work harder to gather enough patients and data to mount effective clinical trials and improve outcomes.
And though pediatric CKD is uncommon, the condition can be devastating, leaving a long-term impact on a child’s adult life. The overall life expectancy of children with kidney disease is approximately 40 years less than the average population.