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Low protein diet in the management of patients with chronic renal failure: A controversial discussion



Low protein diet in the management of patients with chronic renal failure: A controversial discussion



Artificial Organs 22(11): 948-951



The incidence of newly treated cases of end-stage renal disease has doubled during the past 10 years and currently exceeds 200 cases per million population per year in the U.S.A. for example (1). In this country, more than 240,000 patients with end-stage renal disease are being treated each year at a total annual cost of about dollar sign10 billion. Given the scope of the problem and the lack of therapy for most forms of renal disease, attention has focused on prevention via nutritional restrictions as a strategy. More than 30 years ago, Thomas Addis suggested that protein intake be restricted in patients with early renal insufficiency (2). His aim was to decrease the workload of surviving nephrons in the case of kidney diseases and by resting these units to preserve their function. Recent years have seen a debate raging between those nephrologists who claim that the effect of low protein diets on slowing the progression of end-stage renal disease is limited according to the results of large scale trials and those who claim that the effect is limited only because patients' compliance is less than optimal. This discussion might have two facets. Its impact goes beyond the fate of the single patient because a substantial amount of money may be saved by the worldwide community by postponing the need for dialysis. This paper provides a short overview of the long history and controversy linked to the prescription of low protein diets in chronic renal failure.

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Accession: 010941173

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9821528

DOI: 10.1046/j.1525-1594.1998.06269.x


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