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Tracy Hampton

Links between variants in the APOL1 gene and kidney disease in African Americans are among the strongest genetic associations reported for a common disease, according to recent findings. The research could help identify patients who need early treatment and help researchers identify how variants in the gene wreak havoc on the kidneys.

The findings were reported in several recent articles published together in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

“The five articles published in JASN launch a new era in investigating the underlying risks for developing two very common and complex

Tracy Hampton

Hypertension or preeclampsia during pregnancy, while often asymptomatic, can threaten the health of women and their babies. Two Mayo Clinic studies presented at the ASN’s Kidney Week 2011 provide new information related to these conditions.

Vesna Garovic, MD, and her team examined the potential of a test done mid-pregnancy to predict which women will later develop preeclampsia, a late-pregnancy disorder that is characterized by hypertension and proteinuria that affects 3 percent to 5 percent of pregnancies. Left untreated or without careful monitoring, preeclampsia can lead to serious—even fatal—complications for a pregnant woman and her baby.

The researchers previously showed that

Tracy Hampton

Collaboration between primary care physicians (PCPs) and nephrologists in the care of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is widely advocated, but how do these clinicians prefer to collaborate? That was the focus of recent research on CKD care (Diamantidis CJ et al. Primary Care-Specialist Collaboration in the Care of Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol, February 2011).

“We were able to highlight how primary care providers and nephrologists differ on certain aspects of the care of patients with chronic kidney disease,” said first author Clarissa Jonas Diamantidis, MD, of the University of Maryland

Tracy Hampton

New studies point to the importance of diet for kidney health in the general population as well as for the longevity of patients on dialysis. The studies, which are both published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), suggest that more research is needed to fine-tune certain dietary recommendations.

The first study, by Casey Rebholz, PhD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and her colleagues, was conducted to clarify the effects of certain beverages on kidney health.

“There is a lack of comprehensive information on the health implications

Tracy Hampton

Diet plays an important role in the health of patients with chronic kidney disease, even after transplantation. New research published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology indicates that following the Mediterranean diet may help kidney transplant recipients maintain normal kidney function.

The Mediterranean diet—which focuses on high intake of fish, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and olive oil together with lower intake of dairy and meat products—has been linked with reduced risks of cardiovascular disease and early death in the general population, and a reduced risk of diabetes after kidney transplantation; however, whether the diet

Tracy Hampton

Enhanced laboratory-based treatment prompts may improve primary care physicians’ prescribing habits in some situations, but that does not seem to be the case when it comes to prescribing recommended medications for elderly patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). That was the conclusion of a study in the April Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

“KDIGO [Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes] guidelines on the care of patients with CKD will be released this year, and they will recommend a more complicated system of staging for people with the disease,” said lead author Braden Manns, MD, of the

Tracy Hampton

Across the globe, numerous kidney transplant candidates and donors are linking up in often complicated ways to facilitate more transplants through exchange programs, or swaps. The largest swap so far, which was orchestrated by the National Kidney Registry (NKR) and involved 60 lives and 30 kidneys, was described recently in The New York Times ( Also, in early February the NKR announced that it had facilitated its 400th exchange transplant. These efforts by the NKR and other programs could not come at a better time. Nearly 90,000 people in the United States are waiting for a

Tracy Hampton

Antiplatelet therapy that inhibits blood clotting can be life-saving for individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease or stroke. At first glance, this should apply to patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), who are more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than of any other cause. But nonatherosclerotic conditions such as cardiac failure, sudden cardiac death, and arrhythmia are more common causes of cardiovascular events in individuals with CKD than in the general population, and the bleeding risk of antiplatelet agents may be greater among people with CKD because of impaired hemostasis.

Investigators recently published a review in the

Tracy Hampton

Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) has been the mainstay for diagnosing chronic kidney disease (CKD), and it provides a powerful tool for helping clinicians predict all-cause and cardiovascular mortality and kidney failure in patients. But what is the best equation for estimating an individual’s GFR? A new meta-analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association set out to answer this question.

Comparing two equations

Although the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study equation is recommended for estimating GFR, the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) recently proposed an alternative equation that applies different coefficients to

Tracy Hampton

Children in need of a kidney transplant have had priority over older candidates for organs from young deceased donors since a policy called Share 35 was implemented in 2005. A new study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology looks at the effects of this policy on pediatric kidney transplantation, particularly as they relate to race.

“We sought to examine whether the Share 35 allocation policy improved deceased donor transplant access for children across races equally, because in the past, black and Hispanic children with end stage renal disease have had reduced access to transplantation,” said