ASN Announces Diabetic Kidney Disease Collaborative to Ensure Patient Benefit, Increase Coordination across Specialties

Diabetic kidney diseases develop in approximately 40% of patients who have type 2 diabetes and are the leading cause of CKD worldwide. The condition also accounts for more than 40% of kidney failure in the United States.

With more than 100 million U.S. adults living with diabetes or prediabetes, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, new treatments are urgently needed to stem the tide of diabetic kidney diseases.

Fortunately, “the outlook for people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and CKD today is more hopeful than it has ever been,” says Vlado Perkovic, MBBS, PhD, in this special edition of Kidney News. “. . . the last decade has seen an explosion of evidence from high-quality, properly powered, randomized trials that have defined the benefits and risks of many of these treatment options.” Perkovic is executive director of the George Institute, Australia, professor of medicine at UNSW Sydney, and a staff specialist in nephrology at the Royal North Shore Hospital.

In response to the recent development of new therapies for people with diabetic kidney diseases, the American Society of Nephrology launched the Diabetic Kidney Disease Collaborative (DKD-C) on July 25, 2019.

“It’s time for nephrologists to step up and take the lead in the care of patients with DKD,” said Katherine R. Tuttle, MD, FASN, a member of the ASN DKD-C Task Force and Kidney Health Initiative Board of Directors. “It’s the most common problem in nephrology and a general health problem as well.” Tuttle is Executive Director for Research, Providence Health Care, professor of medicine, University of Washington, and co-principal investigator, Institute of Translational Health Sciences.

The Diabetic Kidney Disease Collaborative will work to increase coordination among primary care physicians, nephrologists, and other specialists to deliver appropriate therapies to people living with diabetic kidney diseases, according to a press release issued by ASN.

“Life with a kidney disease can be extremely challenging, and patients deserve the most advanced and innovative treatment in order to manage their conditions,” said ASN Councilor Susan Quaggin, MD, FASN. “We are launching DKD-C to help accelerate the use of new therapies, educate the healthcare community, and address the legislative and regulatory policy issues that can prevent patient access to quality care.” Quaggin is chair of the DKD-C and is director of the Feinberg Cardiovascular and Renal Research Institute and chief of nephrology and hypertension in the Department of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.

The goals of the Diabetic Kidney Disease Collaborative are to:

  • Determine the role of the nephrologist in diagnosing and treating diabetic kidney diseases, including advocating for people with DKD, having ASN review current and future clinical practice guidelines, and ensuring that nephrologists prescribe the appropriate therapies.
  • Encourage nephrologists to interact proactively with primary care physicians, endocrinologists, and other specialists to ensure people with DKD receive the highest-quality care possible.
  • Provide educational information to help nephrologists and other health professionals provide high-quality care to people with DKD.
  • Address legislative and regulatory policy issues that affect the ability of nephrologists and other health professionals to provide high-quality care to people with DKD.
  • Hold multi-stakeholder conference(s) to build on the momentum surrounding DKD.


“With the recently reported results of CREDENCE (Canagliflozin and Renal Events in Diabetes with Established Nephropathy Clinical Evaluation), which demonstrated substantial kidney and cardiovascular benefits in patients with T2D and DKD through the use of SGLT-2 inhibitors on top of standard of care, ASN has prioritized educating the nephrology community and increasing collaboration across specialties on the use of these life-changing therapies,” the ASN press release states.

Noted Tuttle: “ASN’s DKD-C emphasizes the integral role of nephrologists in providing and overseeing high-quality care for people living with DKD. To ensure new therapies are accessible and utilized appropriately, this initiative will require collaboration, partnership, innovative approaches, and multi-stakeholder engagement.”

For more information about the Diabetic Kidney Disease Collaborative, please contact Susan Stark, Project Director, at

August 2019 (Vol. 11, Number 8)