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Improving the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease.

March 24, 2008

Key Organizations Unite to Support eGFR Reporting

The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) partnered with NKDEP and other organizations to send a letter urging nephrologists to support and help facilitate the reporting of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) by all hospital and commercial clinical laboratories in the United States. Other partners include the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, American Diabetes Association, and College of American Pathologists.

Mailed to ASN's membership in advance of World Kidney Day, the letter highlights recent data from the MDRD Study and emphasizes the superiority of using the eGFR formula over serum creatinine alone for assessing kidney function.

NKDEP and AADE Observe National Kidney Month

This month, NKDEP and the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) are together observing National Kidney Month via a special mailing to more than 10,000 AADE members.

The mailing features NKDEP's Quick Reference on UACR and GFR, which is designed to help diabetes educators and other health care professionals better understand the urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio and eGFR-two critical tests for detecting and monitoring chronic kidney disease (CKD). The reference has recently been revised and printed, and is available to download and order at

Additionally, NKDEP developed kidney disease education concepts and supporting talking points to support kidney disease education among patients with diabetes. Diabetes educators can incorporate these into diabetes self-management education sessions that address monitoring, taking medications, and risk reduction.

NKDEP Initiates Community Health Center Pilot Project

NKDEP recently began a pilot project to improve CKD detection and care among a small group of community health centers in New England. The goal of the project is to help the health centers adopt system changes that will allow them to meet more benchmarks for CKD detection and management, as well as to identify a set of best practices that can be shared with health centers nationwide. With the help of the Community Health Care Association of Connecticut, participating health centers will design, implement, and monitor performance improvements related to CKD while NKDEP provides ongoing technical assistance.

The kick-off meeting for the project was held in Springfield, MA, on February 1. In the coming months, NKDEP will conduct a needs assessment with the centers on CKD-related tools and trainings. For more information on the pilot project, please email NKDEP at

Explaining the Connection Between CKD and CVD

Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and Dr. Andrew Narva, director of NKDEP, spoke about the connection between CKD and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a recent National Institutes of Health podcast and vodcast, respectively.

Among the topics discussed were the common risk factors between the two conditions; the increased risk of CVD among patients with CKD-and vice versa; and the steps that people with CKD can take to reduce their risk for CVD. They also highlighted NIDDK research efforts that are striving to explain this connection and programs that aim to improve health outcomes related to CKD and CVD. Both episodes were released on February 8th, in observance of American Heart Month.

To view/hear these episodes and to read the transcripts, please use the following links:

Dr. Rodgers' Podcast (Episode #0051):

Dr. Narva's Vodcast (Episode #0010):

Make the Kidney Connection at Family Reunions

Summertime is right around the corner and for many African Americans this means the start of family reunion season. Take this opportunity to remind your patients and constituents to incorporate discussions about their family's health-specifically the risk for kidney disease-at their family reunions this year.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes for kidney disease, but many people with these conditions don't know they are at risk. NKDEP's Family Reunion Health Guide helps families discuss the connection between diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease at reunions and other family gatherings.

Visit or call 1-866-4 KIDNEY (1-866-454-3639) for more information about the Family Reunion Initiative or to get free copies of the Guide.

Kidney Expert Named Director of Kidney, Urology, and Hematology Research

Robert A. Star, M.D. has been named director of the Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases at the NIDDK, by Institute Director Dr. Griffin Rodgers. Dr. Star has been acting director of the extramural research division since September 2006 and was appointed director on February 26, 2008, after a nationwide search.

Dr. Star is especially interested in translational research and will continue his innovative intramural work on early identification, prevention, and pre-emption of sepsis and acute kidney injury. His research has produced more than 100 published manuscripts, and he has written eight textbook chapters and holds several patents.

Upcoming Exhibits and Conferences

Stop by and visit NKDEP at CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation Conference in Orlando, FL, May 5-8, 2008.

Page last updated: March 1, 2012