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Kidney Disease Research Updates
Winter 2013

KUH Initiative Seeks Community-level Solutions for Treating CKD

From NIDDK Director’s Update

The NIDDK’s Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases (KUH) is breaking new ground by funding an initiative to improve outcomes by testing methods to translate chronic kidney disease (CKD) research into routine clinical practice.

Under the initiative, five projects are testing the effectiveness of approaches that are highly likely to be adopted and sustained in a wide range of health care settings and by individuals and communities at highest risk for CKD. Projects selected for funding had to demonstrate that their approaches would not require extraordinary new or additional resources and could be adapted to settings with limited resources where high-risk communities are served, such as community health centers.

“We have interventions which have been proven to prevent or slow the progression of CKD,” said Andrew Narva, M.D., who oversees the grants and directs the National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP). “Unfortunately, we have not been successful in implementing these proven therapies in the community. We need to test new approaches.”

CKD, a condition in which the kidneys gradually lose function, affects an estimated 23 million American adults. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of CKD. The projects, which began last fall and will continue through 2016, are studying several ways to improve care for patients with CKD, including the use of health information technology such as enhanced electronic health records and patient registries, techniques to help patients manage their own care, and educational materials and resources for patients and health care providers.

“In order to improve outcomes for patients with CKD we must narrow the gap between clinical research and clinical practice,” said Narva. “We need to figure out how to deliver appropriate care to those who need it. We hope to use the knowledge gained from this research to inform the work of NKDEP.”

To learn more, contact Dr. Narva at


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NIH Publication No. 13–4531
January 2013

Page last updated January 31, 2013


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