September 4, 2013
Dr. Jiang He leads Tulane participation in a major national study of chronic kidney disease. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
Tulane University researchers will receive $3.35 million to continue their participation for the next five years in a major national study on kidney disease. Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, one of the National Institutes of Health, the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study has, since 2003, followed nearly 4,000 patients with chronic kidney disease through two phases of research at seven centers around the country including Tulane.
The third five-year long phase now kicking off is expanding the study’s scope to provide better understanding of how kidney disease progresses in members of an aging population. The researchers will focus on enrolling older participants, as it is mainly people in their early 60s who develop kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis is a treatment to filter wastes and excess fluid from the blood, a task normally performed by the kidneys. Most people with kidney failure are attached to a dialysis machine for three to four hours at a time, three times per week.
New recruits for the study’s third phase also will have milder forms of kidney disease than patients who participated in the earlier phases. Understanding the progression of kidney function decline and other clinical outcomes among patients with mild to moderate chronic kidney disease is a chief goal of the new phase of the study. The researchers want to understand the risk factors for the worsening of kidney functions in order to design new ways to prevent kidney disease from developing and worsening.
“This research has important public health and clinical implications,” says Dr. Jiang He, principal investigator at the Tulane study center. “The study may reveal novel and reversible underlying factors for the progression of chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and other related outcomes.”
Co-investigators at Tulane for the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study are Dr. Lee Hamm and Dr. Jing Chen.
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