Researchers behind a major new study of chronic kidney disease hope it will provide vital information to aid earlier diagnosis and treatment.
The study, which gets under way this month, will see researchers from the University of Oxford work with 13 Oxfordshire GP practices to investigate how people over the age of 60 progress from mild to more severe forms of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
“There’s a real need for patients and clinicians to have more information about CKD”
This could help clinicians better identify and treat those at risk, said GP Dr Clare Taylor, an academic clinical lecturer in the university’s Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.
“There’s a real need for patients and clinicians to have more information about CKD,” she said. “Only by understanding the disease can we provide better education about what CKD means for patients to help them to manage their condition day-to-day.
She added: “This study will provide information on CKD which could enable GPs to identify those with the condition earlier so the risk of mild CKD progressing to a more severe form can be managed.”
Kidney function declines slowly with age and around one in 10 people worldwide have mild CKD. The condition is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and heart failure, and sudden death.
“By the end we’ll have an extensive dataset that will help us to answer important new questions”
However, little is known about how many people in the UK have CKD or the factors that can increase someone’s risk of developing the condition and progressing to severe CKD.
The first phase of the research programme, which started in November 2013, set out to understand more about the incidence of CKD in the over 60s.
The research team will now follow up nearly 3,000 people involved in the New onset Kidney Impairment (NewKI) study over two years to see how their disease progresses.
Chief investigator Professor Richard Hobbs, also from Oxford University, said this new research would include looking at what types of interventions worked best.
Practice nurses should ‘carry out more consultations’
“This study will help us to see how many new people are diagnosed with CKD, what happens over an extended period of time to those with mild CKD, and what treatments improve, or stop the worsening of kidney function,” he said.
“I’m grateful that we have such an engaged and supportive research team in the community working with us is on this study, and by the end we’ll have an extensive dataset that will help us to answer important new questions,” he added.
The NewKI study is managed by Oxford University’s Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit and funded by the National Institute for Health Research’s Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and its School for Primary Care Research.