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1.  Patients with chronic kidney disease and their intent to use electronic personal health records 
Electronic personal health records (ePHRs) provide patients with access to their personal health information, aiming to inform them about their health, enhance self-management, and improve outcomes. Although they have been associated with improved health outcomes in several chronic diseases, the potential impact of ePHR use in chronic kidney disease (CKD) is unknown.
We sought to understand perceptions of CKD patients about ePHRs, and describe characteristics associated with their expressed intent to use an ePHR.
Self-administered paper based survey.
The study was conducted in Calgary, Alberta, Canada at a multidisciplinary CKD clinic from November 2013 to January 2014.
Patients with non-dialysis-dependent CKD.
Demographics, perceived benefits, and drawbacks of ePHRs were obtained. A univariate analysis was used to assess for an association with the expressed intention to use an ePHR.
A patient survey was used to determine perceptions of ePHRs, and to identify factors that were associated with intention to use an ePHR.
Overall 63 patients with CKD (76.2 % male, 55.6 % ≥65 years old) completed the survey. The majority (69.8 %) expressed their intent to use an ePHR. CKD patients over the age of 65 were less likely to intend to use an ePHR as compared to those aged <65 years (OR 0.22, 95 % CI: [0.06, 0.78]). Those with post-secondary education (OR 3.31, 95 % CI: [1.06, 10.41]) and Internet access (OR 5.70, 95 % CI: [1.64, 19.81]) were more likely to express their intent to use an ePHR. Perceived benefits of ePHR use included greater involvement in their own care (50.0 % indicated this), better access to lab results (75.8 %), and access to health information (56.5 %). Although 41.9 % reported concerns about privacy of health information, there was no association between these concerns and the intent to use an ePHR.
Our results are limited by small study size and single centre location.
We found that patients with CKD expressed their intention to use ePHRs, and perceive benefits such as personal involvement in their health care and better access to lab results. Studies of CKD patients using ePHRs are needed to determine whether ePHR use improves patient outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4465011  PMID: 26075082
Personal health record; Electronic personal health record; PHR; ePHR; Chronic kidney disease; Patient-centered care
2.  Methods for identifying 30 chronic conditions: application to administrative data 
Multimorbidity is common and associated with poor clinical outcomes and high health care costs. Administrative data are a promising tool for studying the epidemiology of multimorbidity. Our goal was to derive and apply a new scheme for using administrative data to identify the presence of chronic conditions and multimorbidity.
We identified validated algorithms that use ICD-9 CM/ICD-10 data to ascertain the presence or absence of 40 morbidities. Algorithms with both positive predictive value and sensitivity ≥70% were graded as “high validity”; those with positive predictive value ≥70% and sensitivity <70% were graded as “moderate validity”. To show proof of concept, we applied identified algorithms with high to moderate validity to inpatient and outpatient claims and utilization data from 574,409 people residing in Edmonton, Canada during the 2008/2009 fiscal year.
Of the 40 morbidities, we identified 30 that could be identified with high to moderate validity. Approximately one quarter of participants had identified multimorbidity (2 or more conditions), one quarter had a single identified morbidity and the remaining participants were not identified as having any of the 30 morbidities.
We identified a panel of 30 chronic conditions that can be identified from administrative data using validated algorithms, facilitating the study and surveillance of multimorbidity. We encourage other groups to use this scheme, to facilitate comparisons between settings and jurisdictions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12911-015-0155-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4415341  PMID: 25886580
Multimorbidity; Administrative data
3.  Trace element supplementation in hemodialysis patients: a randomized controlled trial 
BMC Nephrology  2015;16:52.
People with kidney failure are often deficient in zinc and selenium, but little is known about the optimal way to correct such deficiency.
We did a double-blind randomized trial evaluating the effects of zinc (Zn), selenium (Se) and vitamin E added to the standard oral renal vitamin supplement (B and C vitamins) among hemodialysis patients in Alberta, Canada. We evaluated the effect of two daily doses of the new supplement (medium dose: 50 mg Zn, 75 mcg Se, 250 IU vitamin E; low dose: 25 mg Zn, 50 mcg Se, 250 IU vitamin E) compared to the standard supplement on blood concentrations of Se and Zn at 90 days (primary outcome) and 180 days (secondary outcome) as well as safety outcomes.
We enrolled 150 participants. The proportion of participants with low zinc status (blood level <815 ug/L) did not differ between the control group and the two intervention groups at 90 days (control 23.9% vs combined intervention groups 23.9%, P > 0.99) or 180 days (18.6% vs 28.2%, P = 0.24). The proportion with low selenium status (blood level <121 ug/L) was similar for controls and the combined intervention groups at 90 days (32.6 vs 19.6%, P = 0.09) and 180 days (34.9% vs 23.5%, P = 0.17). There were no significant differences in the risk of adverse events between the groups.
Supplementation with low or medium doses of zinc and selenium did not correct low zinc or selenium status in hemodialysis patients. Future studies should consider higher doses of zinc (≥75 mg/d) and selenium (≥100 mcg/d) with the standard supplement.
Trial registration
Registered with (NCT01473914)
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12882-015-0042-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4409771  PMID: 25884981
Hemodialysis; Selenium; Zinc
4.  A modified Delphi process to identify process of care indicators for the identification, prevention and management of acute kidney injury after major surgery 
The outcomes of acute kidney injury (AKI) are well appreciated. However, valid indicators of high quality processes of care for AKI after major surgery are lacking.
To identify indicators of high quality processes of care related to AKI prevention, identification, and management after major surgery.
A three stage modified Delphi process.
The study was conducted in Alberta, Canada using an online format.
A panel of care providers from surgery, critical care, and nephrology.
The degree of validity of candidate indicators were rated by panelists on a 7-point Likert scale that ranged from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”.
A focused literature review was performed to identify candidate indicators. A modified Delphi process, with three rounds, was used to obtain expert consensus on the validity of potential process of care quality indicators.
Thirty-three physicians participated (6 from surgery, 10 from critical care, and 17 from nephrology). A list of 58 potential process of care quality indicators for AKI after surgery was generated including 28 indicators from the initial literature review and 30 indicators suggested by panelists. Following the third round of questioning, 40 process of care indicators were identified with a high level of agreement for face validity; 16 of these reached high consensus among all panelists.
The consensus of panelists from Alberta, Canada may not be generalizable to other settings. The modified Delphi process did not focus on the feasibility of measuring these process indicators.
These indicators can be used to measure and improve the quality of care for AKI after major surgery.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40697-015-0047-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4460967  PMID: 26060575
Acute kidney injury; Surgery; Quality indicators
5.  Nutrition and dietary intake and their association with mortality and hospitalisation in adults with chronic kidney disease treated with haemodialysis: protocol for DIET-HD, a prospective multinational cohort study 
BMJ Open  2015;5(3):e006897.
Adults with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) treated with haemodialysis experience mortality of between 15% and 20% each year. Effective interventions that improve health outcomes for long-term dialysis patients remain unproven. Novel and testable determinants of health in dialysis are needed. Nutrition and dietary patterns are potential factors influencing health in other health settings that warrant exploration in multinational studies in men and women treated with dialysis. We report the protocol of the “DIETary intake, death and hospitalisation in adults with end-stage kidney disease treated with HaemoDialysis (DIET-HD) study,” a multinational prospective cohort study. DIET-HD will describe associations of nutrition and dietary patterns with major health outcomes for adults treated with dialysis in several countries.
Methods and analysis
DIET-HD will recruit approximately 10 000 adults who have ESKD treated by clinics administered by a single dialysis provider in Argentina, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Turkey. Recruitment will take place between March 2014 and June 2015. The study has currently recruited 8000 participants who have completed baseline data. Nutritional intake and dietary patterns will be measured using the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network (GA2LEN) food frequency questionnaire. The primary dietary exposures will be n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption. The primary outcome will be cardiovascular mortality and secondary outcomes will be all-cause mortality, infection-related mortality and hospitalisation.
Ethics and dissemination
The study is approved by the relevant Ethics Committees in participating countries. All participants will provide written informed consent and be free to withdraw their data at any time. The findings of the study will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals, conference presentations and to participants via regular newsletters. We expect that the DIET-HD study will inform large pragmatic trials of nutrition or dietary interventions in the setting of advanced kidney disease.
PMCID: PMC4368922  PMID: 25795691
6.  Patient navigators for people with chronic disease: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Systematic Reviews  2015;4:28.
Individuals with chronic diseases may have difficulty optimizing their health and getting the care they need due to a combination of patient, provider, and health system level barriers. Patient navigator programs, in which trained personnel assess and assist patients in overcoming barriers to care, may improve care and outcomes for patients with chronic disease by providing an alternative approach to conventional information and support resources.
This systematic review will evaluate the evidence for patient navigator programs, compared to usual care, in patients with chronic disease. We will include RCTs, cluster RCTs, and quasi-randomized RCTs that study the effects of patient navigator programs on clinical outcomes, patient experience, and markers of adherence to care. Studies will be identified by searching MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), CINAHL, PsycINFO, Social Work Abstracts, and the references of included studies. Two authors will screen titles and abstracts independently. Full texts will be reviewed for relevance and data extraction will be done independently by two authors. Studies will be included if they assess patients of any age with one or more chronic diseases. Outcomes will be categorized into groups characterized by their proximity to mechanism of action of the intervention: patient-level outcomes, intermediate outcomes, and process outcomes. Descriptive data about the elements of the patient navigator intervention will also be collected for potential subgroup analyses. Risk of bias will be assessed using the Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group (EPOC) risk of bias tool. Data will be analyzed using random effects meta-analysis (relative risk for dichotomous data and mean difference for continuous data), if appropriate.
A comprehensive review of patient navigator programs, including a summary of the elements of programs that are associated with a successful intervention, does not yet exist. This systematic review will synthesize the evidence of the effect of patient navigator interventions on clinical and patient-oriented outcomes in populations across a comprehensive set of chronic diseases.
Systematic Review Registration
PROSPERO CRD42013005857.
PMCID: PMC4375835  PMID: 25874724
Patient navigator; Chronic disease; Systematic review
7.  Kidney function, albuminuria and life expectancy 
Lower estimated glomerular filtration rate is associated with reduced life expectancy. Whether this association is modified by the presence or absence of albuminuria, another cardinal finding of chronic kidney disease, is unknown.
Our objective was to estimate the life expectancy of middle-aged men and women with varying levels of eGFR and concomitant albuminuria.
A retrospective cohort study.
A large population-based cohort identified from the provincial laboratory registry in Alberta, Canada.
Adults aged ≥30 years who had outpatient measures of serum creatinine and albuminuria between May 1, 2002 and March 31, 2008.
Predictor: Baseline levels of kidney function identified from serum creatinine and albuminuria measurements. Outcomes: all cause mortality during the follow-up.
Patients were categorized based on their estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (≥60, 45–59, 30–44, and 15–29 mL/min/1 · 73 m2) as well as albuminuria (normal, mild, and heavy) measured by albumin-to-creatinine ratio or urine dipstick. The abridged life table method was applied to calculate the life expectancies of men and women from age 40 to 80 years across combined eGFR and albuminuria categories. We also categorized participants by severity of kidney disease (low risk, moderately increased risk, high risk, and very high risk) using the combination of eGFR and albuminuria levels.
Among men aged 50 years and with eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2, estimated life expectancy was 24.8 (95% CI: 24.6-25.0), 17.5 (95% CI: 17.1-17.9), and 13.5 (95% CI: 12.6-14.3) years for participants with normal, mild and heavy albuminuria respectively. Life expectancy for men with mild and heavy albuminuria was 7.3 (95% CI: 6.9-7.8) and 11.3 (95% CI: 10.5-12.2) years shorter than men with normal proteinuria, respectively. A reduction in life expectancy was associated with an increasing severity of kidney disease; 24.8 years for low risk (95% CI: 24.6-25.0), 19.1 years for moderately increased risk (95% CI: 18.7-19.5), 14.2 years for high risk (95% CI: 13.5-15.0), and 9.6 years for very high risk (95% CI: 8.4-10.8). Among women of similar age and kidney function, estimated life expectancy was 28.9 (95% CI: 28.7-29.1), 19.8 (95% CI: 19.2-20.3), and 14.8 (95% CI: 13.5-16.0) years for participants with normal, mild and heavy albuminuria respectively. Life expectancy for women with mild and heavy albuminuria was 9.1 (95% CI: 8.5-9.7) and 14.2 (95% CI: 12.9-15.4) years shorter than the women with normal proteinuria, respectively. For women also a graded reduction in life expectancy was observed across the increasing severity of kidney disease; 28.9 years for low risk (95% CI: 28.7-29.1), 22.5 years for moderately increased risk (95% CI: 22.0-22.9), 16.5 years for high risk (95% CI: 15.4-17.5), and 9.2 years for very high risk (95% CI: 7.8-10.7).
Possible misclassification of long-term kidney function categories cannot be eliminated. Possibility of confounding due to concomitant comorbidities cannot be ruled out.
The presence and degree of albuminuria was associated with lower estimated life expectancy for both gender and was especially notable in those with eGFR ≥30 mL/min/1.73 m2. Life expectancy associated with a given level of eGFR differs substantially based on the presence and severity of albuminuria.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40697-014-0033-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4349777  PMID: 25780622
8.  Hypoglycemia Associated With Hospitalization and Adverse Events in Older People 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(11):3585-3590.
Little is known about the prognostic impact of hypoglycemia associated with hospitalization. We hypothesized that hospitalized hypoglycemia would be associated with increased long-term morbidity and mortality, irrespective of diabetes status.
We undertook a cohort study using linked administrative health care and laboratory databases in Alberta, Canada. From 1 January 2004 to 31 March 2009, we included all outpatients 66 years of age and older who had at least one serum creatinine and one A1C measured. To examine the independent association between hospitalized hypoglycemia and all-cause mortality, we used time-varying Cox proportional hazards (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR]), and for all-cause hospitalizations, we used Poisson regression (adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR]).
The cohort included 85,810 patients: mean age 75 years, 51% female, and 50% had diabetes defined by administrative data. Overall, 440 patients (0.5%) had severe hypoglycemia associated with hospitalization and most (93%) had diabetes. During 4 years of follow-up, 16,320 (19%) patients died. Hospitalized hypoglycemia was independently associated with increased mortality (60 vs. 19% mortality for no hypoglycemia; aHR 2.55 [95% CI 2.25–2.88]), and this increased in a dose-dependent manner (aHR no hypoglycemia = 1.0 vs. one episode = 2.49 vs. one or more = 3.78, P trend <0.001). Hospitalized hypoglycemia was also independently associated with subsequent hospitalizations (aIRR no hypoglycemia = 1.0 vs. one episode = 1.90 vs. one or more = 2.61, P trend <0.001) and recurrent hypoglycemia (aHR no hypoglycemia = 1.0 vs. one episode = 2.45 vs. one or more = 9.66, P trend <0.001).
Older people who have an episode of hospitalized hypoglycemia are easily identified and at substantially increased risk of morbidity and mortality.
PMCID: PMC3816904  PMID: 24089536
9.  Remembering the forgotten non-communicable diseases 
BMC Medicine  2014;12:200.
The forthcoming post-Millennium Development Goals era will bring about new challenges in global health. Low- and middle-income countries will have to contend with a dual burden of infectious and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Some of these NCDs, such as neoplasms, COPD, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, cause much health loss worldwide and are already widely recognised as doing so. However, 55% of the global NCD burden arises from other NCDs, which tend to be ignored in terms of premature mortality and quality of life reduction. Here, experts in some of these ‘forgotten NCDs’ review the clinical impact of these diseases along with the consequences of their ignoring their medical importance, and discuss ways in which they can be given higher global health priority in order to decrease the growing burden of disease and disability.
PMCID: PMC4207624  PMID: 25604462
Global health; Non-communicable diseases; Sickle cell disease; Chronic kidney disease; Asthma; Dementia; Gout; Substance abuse; Alcohol; Liver cirrhosis
10.  Age modification of diabetes-related hospitalization among First Nations adults in Alberta, Canada 
We sought to determine the modifying effects of age and multimorbidity on the association between First Nations status and hospitalizations for diabetes-specific ambulatory care sensitive conditions (ACSC).
We identified 183,654 adults with diabetes from Alberta Canada, and followed them for one year for the outcome of hospitalization or emergency department (ED) visit for a diabetes-specific ACSC. We used logistic regression to determine the association between First Nations status and the outcome, assessing for effect modification by age and multimorbidity with interaction terms. In a model adjusting for age, age2, baseline A1c, duration of diabetes, and multimorbidity, First Nations people were at greater risk than non-First Nations to experience a diabetes-specific hospitalization or ED visit (unadjusted odds ratio [OR] 3.74; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.45-4.07). After adjustment for relevant covariates, this association varied by age (interaction: p = 0.018): adjusted OR 3.94 (95% CI: 3.11-4.99) and 5.74 (95% CI: 3.36-9.80) for First Nations compared to non-First Nations at ages 30 and 80 years, respectively.
Compared with non-First Nations, older First Nations patients with diabetes are at greater risk for diabetes-specific hospitalizations. Older First Nations patients with diabetes should be given priority access to primary care services as they are at greatest risk for requiring hospitalization for stabilization of their condition.
PMCID: PMC4192759  PMID: 25309626
American indian; First Nations; Hospitalization; Diabetes mellitus; Risk adjustment
12.  Short‐Term Change in eGFR and Risk of Cardiovascular Events 
Lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) on a single occasion is associated with risk of cardiovascular events; whether the degree of change in eGFR during a 1‐year period adds prognostic information is unknown.
Methods and Results
We included adults who had ≥2 outpatient eGFR measurements (≥6 months apart) during a 1‐year accrual period in Alberta, Canada. According to recent guidelines, we used a change in eGFR category (≥90, 60 to 89, 45 to 59, 30 to 44, 15 to 29, and <15 mL/min per 1.73 m2), and the presence/absence of a ≥25% change from baseline to classify participants into 5 groups: certain drop, uncertain drop, stable (no change), uncertain rise, and certain rise. We calculated adjusted rates of cardiovascular events (per 10 000 person‐years) for each group. We estimated the adjusted risks of cardiovascular events associated with each category of change in eGFR, in reference to stable kidney function. Among the 526 388 participants, 76.1% (n=400 560) had stable, 2.6% (n=13 668) had a certain drop, and 3.3% (n=17 499) had a certain rise in eGFR. Compared with participants with stable kidney function, adjusted risks of myocardial infarction, heart failure, and stroke were 27%, 51%, and 20% higher, respectively, for those with a certain drop in kidney function. After adjusting for the last eGFR at the end of the accrual period, the observed association diminished.
Clinically relevant changes in eGFR are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events. However, most of the apparent increase in risk can be accounted for by assessing comorbidity and baseline kidney function.
PMCID: PMC4323783  PMID: 25213565
Canada; cardiovascular diseases; clinical epidemiology; kidney function; short‐term change
13.  Risk for recurrent coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality among individuals with chronic kidney disease compared with diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, and cigarette smokers 
American heart journal  2013;166(2):373-380.e2.
Lipid-lowering guidelines endorse a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol goal of <100 mg/dL for people with coronary heart disease (CHD). A more stringent threshold of <70 mg/dL is recommended for those with CHD and “very high-risk” conditions such as diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, or cigarette smoking. Whether chronic kidney disease (CKD) confers a similar risk for recurrent CHD events is unknown.
Methods and Results
We evaluated the risk for recurrent CHD events and all-cause mortality among 3,938 participants ≥45 years with CHD in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. Chronic kidney disease was defined by estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 mL/min per 1.73 m2 or urinary albumin to creatinine ratio ≥30 mg/g. Participants were categorized by the presence or absence of CKD and any very high-risk condition. Over a median of 4.1 years, the crude incidence (95% CI) of recurrent CHD events were 12.1 (9.0–15.2), 18.9 (15.5–22.3), 35.0 (25.4–44.6), and 34.2 (28.2–40.3) among those without CKD or high-risk conditions; very high-risk conditions alone; and CKD alone and both CKD and very high-risk conditions. After multivariable adjustment, compared with those without CKD or very high-risk conditions, the hazard ratio (95% CI) for recurrent CHD events was 1.45 (1.02–2.05), 2.24 (1.50–3.34), and 2.10 (1.47–2.98) among those with very high-risk conditions alone, CKD alone, and both CKD and very high-risk conditions, respectively. Results were consistent for all-cause mortality.
Chronic kidney disease is associated with risk for recurrent CHD events that approximates or is larger than other established very high-risk conditions.
PMCID: PMC4139360  PMID: 23895822
14.  Seeing the forests and the trees—innovative approaches to exploring heterogeneity in systematic reviews of complex interventions to enhance health system decision-making: a protocol 
Systematic Reviews  2014;3:88.
To improve quality of care and patient outcomes, health system decision-makers need to identify and implement effective interventions. An increasing number of systematic reviews document the effects of quality improvement programs to assist decision-makers in developing new initiatives. However, limitations in the reporting of primary studies and current meta-analysis methods (including approaches for exploring heterogeneity) reduce the utility of existing syntheses for health system decision-makers. This study will explore the role of innovative meta-analysis approaches and the added value of enriched and updated data for increasing the utility of systematic reviews of complex interventions.
We will use the dataset from our recent systematic review of 142 randomized trials of diabetes quality improvement programs to evaluate novel approaches for exploring heterogeneity. These will include exploratory methods, such as multivariate meta-regression analyses and all-subsets combinatorial meta-analysis. We will then update our systematic review to include new trials and enrich the dataset by surveying authors of all included trials. In doing so, we will explore the impact of variables not, reported in previous publications, such as details of study context, on the effectiveness of the intervention. We will use innovative analytical methods on the enriched and updated dataset to identify key success factors in the implementation of quality improvement interventions for diabetes. Decision-makers will be involved throughout to help identify and prioritize variables to be explored and to aid in the interpretation and dissemination of results.
This study will inform future systematic reviews of complex interventions and describe the value of enriching and updating data for exploring heterogeneity in meta-analysis. It will also result in an updated comprehensive systematic review of diabetes quality improvement interventions that will be useful to health system decision-makers in developing interventions to improve outcomes for people with diabetes.
Systematic review registration
PROSPERO registration no. CRD42013005165
PMCID: PMC4174390  PMID: 25115289
Diabetes care; Knowledge translation; Quality improvement interventions; Complex Interventions; Health system decision-makers; Systematic review; Meta-analysis; Implementation science; Heterogeneity; Hierarchical modeling
15.  Chronic kidney disease in homeless persons in Mexico 
Kidney International Supplements  2013;3(2):250-253.
Little is known about the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) among the homeless in Mexico. The role of substance abuse, alcoholism, and homelessness in CKD has not been properly evaluated. We screened 260 homeless individuals in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, for the presence of CKD and its risk factors, and compared their characteristics with those from a separate cohort of poor Jalisco residents and with a survey of the general Mexican population. CKD was more prevalent among the homeless than among the poor Jalisco population (22% vs. 15.8%, P=0.0001); 16.5% had stage 3, 4.3% stage 4, and 1.2% stage 5. All were unaware of having CKD. Only 5.8% knew they had diabetes, but 19% had fasting blood sugar >126 mg/dl; 3.5% knew they were hypertensive but 31% had systolic blood pressure ⩾140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure ⩾90 mm Hg. Alcoholism was less common than in the poor Jalisco population (23.5% vs. 32.3%, P=0.002), but tobacco smoking (34.6% vs. 21.5%, P=0.0001) and substance abuse (18% vs. 1.1%, P=0.0001) were more prevalent among the homeless. Likewise, chronic viral infections such as HIV (4.5% vs. 0.3%, P=0.0001) and HCV (7.7% vs. 1.4%, P=0.0001) were also significantly higher among the homeless than in the general population. In conclusion, CKD and its risk factors are highly prevalent among the homeless individuals in Jalisco, Mexico. Lack of awareness of having diabetes and hypertension is highly common, as is substance abuse. Programs aiming to prevent CKD and its risk factors in Mexico should specifically target this high-risk population.
PMCID: PMC4089649  PMID: 25018992
chronic kidney disease; diabetes; homeless; hypertension
16.  A population-based study on care and clinical outcomes in remote dwellers with heavy proteinuria 
Kidney International Supplements  2013;3(2):254-258.
Patients with proteinuria are at high risk of cardiovascular and renal complications. Since this risk can be reduced by appropriate interventions, we hypothesized that remote dwellers, who are known to have lower access to health care, might have a higher risk of complications. Using a database of all adults with at least one measure of urine protein between May 2002 and March 2009, we examined the frequency of heavy proteinuria, quality of care delivery, and rates of adverse clinical outcomes across travel distance categories to the nearest nephrologist. Heavy proteinuria was defined by an albumin:creatinine ratio ⩾60 mg/mmol, protein:creatinine ratio ⩾100 mg/mmol, or protein ⩾2+ on dipstick urinalysis. Of 1,359,330 subjects in the study, 262,209 were remote dwellers. The overall prevalence of proteinuria was 2.3%, 2.9%, and 2.5% in those who live >200, 100.1–200, and 50.1–100 km, respectively, as compared to 1.5% in those who live within 50 km of the nearest nephrologist (P<0.001). Similarly, the prevalence of heavy proteinuria was increased among remote dwellers compared to urban dwellers (P=0.001 for trend). There were no differences in markers of good-quality care or the rate of adverse outcomes (all-cause mortality, heart failure, and renal outcomes) across distance categories. However, the rates of hospitalizations and stroke were significantly higher with increased distance from the nearest nephrologist (P<0.001and 0.02, respectively). In conclusion, heavy proteinuria was common in Alberta residents, especially in remote dwellers. Care seemed similar across distance categories of travel, but with higher risk of hospitalizations and stroke among remote dwellers. Further work is needed to understand the basis for the increased risk of hospitalizations and stroke.
PMCID: PMC4089650  PMID: 25018993
adverse clinical outcomes; population; proteinuria; quality of care; remote dwellers
17.  Multidisciplinary care for poor patients with chronic kidney disease in Mexico 
Kidney International Supplements  2013;3(2):178-183.
Coordinated multidisciplinary care (MDC) could improve management and outcomes of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). We opened a nurse-led, MDC CKD clinic in Guadalajara, Mexico. We report the clinic's results between March 2008 and July 2011. The records of 353 patients with CKD stage 3 and 4 were reviewed. Data were collected prospectively. Mean age was 59.1±15.5 years; 54.4% were female and 63.7% were diabetic. We observed significant changes in the quality of care between baseline and follow-up. Compliance with practice guidelines for angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB) and beta blockers increased from 30.6% to 46.6%, and from 11% to 19%, respectively; for statins from 41.4% to 80.3% for erythropoietin and calcium binders from 10.5% to 23.4%, and from 41.9 to 82.6%, respectively. At last visit, 90% of patients were on ACE inhibitors/ARB. Blood pressure <130/80 mm Hg increased from 23% to 38%. Serum glucose ⩽130 mg/dl increased from 54.4% to 67.7%. Serum cholesterol >160 mg/dl decreased from 64.8% to 60.3%. At last visit, 70% of the patients had a serum Hgb ⩾11.0 g/dl, and 80.1% and 65.1% had a normal serum calcium and serum phosphate, respectively. In conclusion, we observed a trend in the improvement of quality of care of CKD patients similar to those reported by other MDC programs in the developed world. Our study demonstrated that a nurse-led MDC program could be successfully implemented in developing countries.
PMCID: PMC4089727  PMID: 25018984
chronic kidney disease; prevention; outcomes
18.  Likelihood of coronary angiography among First Nations patients with acute myocardial infarction 
Morbidity due to cardiovascular disease is high among First Nations people. The extent to which this may be related to the likelihood of coronary angiography is unclear. We examined the likelihood of coronary angiography after acute myocardial infarction (MI) among First Nations and non–First Nations patients.
Our study included adults with incident acute MI between 1997 and 2008 in Alberta. We determined the likelihood of angiography among First Nations and non–First Nations patients, adjusted for important confounders, using the Alberta Provincial Project for Outcome Assessment in Coronary Heart Disease (APPROACH) database.
Of the 46 764 people with acute MI, 1043 (2.2%) were First Nations. First Nations patients were less likely to receive angiography within 1 day after acute MI (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.62–0.87). Among First Nations and non–First Nations patients who underwent angiography (64.9%), there was no difference in the likelihood of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.92, 95% CI 0.83–1.02) or coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) (adjusted HR 1.03, 95% CI 0.85–1.25). First Nations people had worse survival if they received medical management alone (adjusted HR 1.38, 95% CI 1.07–1.77) or if they underwent PCI (adjusted HR 1.38, 95% CI 1.06–1.80), whereas survival was similar among First Nations and non–First Nations patients who received CABG.
First Nations people were less likely to undergo angiography after acute MI and experienced worse long-term survival compared with non–First Nations people. Efforts to improve access to angiography for First Nations people may improve outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4081235  PMID: 24847149
19.  Risk factors associated with hemodialysis central venous catheter malfunction; a retrospective analysis of a randomized controlled trial 
We previously reported a reduction in central venous catheter (CVC) malfunction when using once-weekly recombinant tissue-plasminogen activator (rt-PA) as a locking solution, compared with thrice-weekly heparin.
To identify risk factors for CVC malfunction to inform a targeted strategy for rt-PA use.
Retrospective analysis.
Canadian hemodialysis (HD) units.
Adults with newly placed tunnelled upper venous system CVCs randomized to a locking solution of rt-PA(1 mg/mL) mid-week and heparin (5000 u/ml) on the other HD sessions, or thrice-weekly heparin (5000 u/ml).
CVC malfunction (the primary outcome) was defined as: peak blood flow less than 200 mL/min for thirty minutes during a HD session; mean blood flow less than 250 mL/min for two consecutive HD sessions; inability to initiate HD.
Cox regression was used to determine the association between patient demographics, HD session CVC-related variables and the outcome of CVC malfunction.
Patient age (62.4 vs 65.4 yr), proportion female sex (35.6 vs 48.4%), and proportion with first catheter ever (60.7 vs 61.3%) were similar between patients with and without CVC malfunction. After multivariate analysis, risk factors for CVC malfunction were mean blood processed < 65 L when compared with ≥ 85 L in the prior 6 HD sessions (HR 4.36; 95% CI, 1.59 to 11.95), and mean blood flow < 300 mL/min, or 300 – 324 mL/min in the prior 6 HD sessions (HR 7.65; 95% CI, 2.78 to 21.01, and HR 5.52; 95% CI, 2.00 to 15.23, respectively) when compared to ≥ 350 mL/min.
This pre-specified post-hoc analysis used a definition of CVC malfunction that included blood flow, which may result in an overestimate of the effect size. Generalizability of results to HD units where trisodium citrate locking solution is used may also be limited.
HD session characteristics including mean blood processed and mean blood flow were associated with CVC malfunction, while patient characteristics were not. Whether targeting these patients at greater risk of CVC malfunction with rt-PA as a locking solution improves CVC longevity remains to be determined.
PMCID: PMC4424538  PMID: 25960883
Catheters; Equipment; Malfunction; Hemodialysis; Renal dialysis; Risk factors
20.  Systematic Review of the Risk of Adverse Outcomes Associated with Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Inhibitors for the Treatment of Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e101145.
Anti-angiogenic therapy targeted at vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is now used to treat several types of cancer. We did a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to summarize the adverse effects of vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors (VEGFi), focusing on those with vascular pathogenesis.
Methods and Findings
We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library until April 19, 2012 to identify parallel RCTs comparing a VEGFi with a control among adults with any cancer. We pooled the risk of mortality, vascular events (myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure, and thromboembolism), hypertension and new proteinuria using random-effects models and calculated unadjusted relative risk (RR). We also did meta-regression and assessed publication bias. We retrieved 83 comparisons from 72 studies (n = 38,078) on 11 different VEGFi from 7901 identified citations. The risk of mortality was significantly lower among VEGFi recipients than controls (pooled RR 0.96, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.94 to 0.98, I2 = 0%, tau2 = 0; risk difference 2%). Compared to controls, VEGFi recipients had significantly higher risk of myocardial infarction (MI) (RR 3.54, 95% CI 1.61 to 7.80, I2 = 0%, tau2 = 0), arterial thrombotic events (RR 1.80, 95% CI 1.24 to 2.59, I2 = 0%, tau2 = 0); hypertension (RR 3.46, 95% CI 2.89 to 4.15, I2 = 58%, tau2 = 0.16), and new proteinuria (RR 2.51, 95% CI 1.60 to 3.94, I2 = 87%, tau2 = 0.65). The absolute risk difference was 0.8% for MI, 1% for arterial thrombotic events, 15% for hypertension and 12% for new proteinuria. Meta-regression did not suggest any statistically significant modifiers of the association between VEGFi treatment and any of the vascular events. Limitations include heterogeneity across the trials.
VEGFi increases the risk of MI, hypertension, arterial thromboembolism and proteinuria. The absolute magnitude of the excess risk appears clinically relevant, as the number needed to harm ranges from 7 to 125. These adverse events must be weighed against the lower mortality associated with VEGFi treatment.
PMCID: PMC4079504  PMID: 24988441
22.  Effect of fish oil supplementation on graft patency and cardiovascular events among patients with new synthetic arteriovenous hemodialysis grafts: A randomized trial 
Arteriovenous grafts, an important option for hemodialysis vascular access, are prone to recurrent stenosis and thrombosis.
To determine the effect of fish oil on arteriovenous graft patency and cardiovascular events.
Design, Setting and Patients
Randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial (FISH Study) conducted at 15 North American dialysis centres from November 2003-December 2010 enrolled 201 participants with stage 5 chronic kidney disease (50% female, 63% Caucasian, 53% diabetic) and followed them for 12 months after graft creation
Random allocation to daily fish oil capsules (4×1 gram) or matching placebo on day 7 after graft creation.
Main Outcome Measure
The proportion of participants experiencing a graft thrombosis or radiological or surgical intervention during 12 months follow-up.
The risk of the primary outcome did not differ between fish oil and placebo recipients (48/99 [48%] versus 60/97 [62%]; relative risk 0.78 [95% CI, 0.60–1.03; P = 0.064]). However, the rate of graft failure was lower in the fish oil group (3.43 versus 5.95 per 1,000 access days; incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0.58 [95% CI, 0.44–0.75; P < 0.001). In the fish oil group, there were half as many thrombosis events (1.71 versus 3.41 per 1,000 access days; IRR 0.50 [95% CI, 0.35–0.72; P < 0.001); fewer corrective interventions (2.89 versus 4.92 per 1,000 access days; IRR 0.59 [95% CI, 0.44–0.78; P < 0.001), improved cardiovascular event-free survival; hazard ratio 0.43 [95% CI, 0.19–0.96; P=0.035) and lower systolic blood pressure by 12 months (average −3.61 versus + 4.49 mmHg [95% CI −15.4–−0.85]; P=0.014).
Conclusions: D
aily fish oil ingestion did not reduce the proportion of patients with loss of native patency within 12 months of graft creation; however, it did reduce the rate and time to thrombosis, the need for corrective interventions to maintain patency, and was associated with improved cardiovascular outcomes.
Trial registration Identifier: ISRCTN 15838383
PMCID: PMC4046844  PMID: 22550196
23.  Patient satisfaction with in-centre haemodialysis care: an international survey 
BMJ Open  2014;4(5):e005020.
To evaluate patient experiences of specific aspects of haemodialysis care across several countries.
Cross-sectional survey using the Choices for Healthy Outcomes in Caring for End-Stage Renal Disease (CHOICE) questionnaire.
Haemodialysis clinics within a single provider in Europe and South America.
2748 adults treated in haemodialysis.
Primary and secondary outcomes
The primary outcome was patient satisfaction with overall care. Secondary outcomes included patient experiences of individual aspects of dialysis care.
2145 (78.1%) adults responded to the questionnaire. Fewer than half (46.5% (95% CI 44.5% to 48.6%)) rated their overall care as excellent. Global perceptions of care were uninfluenced by most respondent characteristics except age and depressive symptoms; older respondents were less critical of their care (adjusted OR for excellent rating 1.44 (1.01 to 2.04)) and those with depressive symptoms were less satisfied (0.56 (0.44 to 0.71)). Aspects of care that respondents most frequently ranked as excellent were staff attention to dialysis vascular access (54% (52% to 56%)); caring of nurses (53% (51% to 55%)); staff responsiveness to pain or discomfort (51% (49% to 53%)); caring, helpfulness and sensitivity of dialysis staff (50% (48% to 52%)); and ease of reaching dialysis staff by telephone (48% (46% to 50%)). The aspects of care least frequently ranked as excellent were information provided when choosing a dialysis modality (23% (21% to 25%)), ease of seeing a social worker (28% (24% to 32%)), information provided about dialysis (34% (32% to 36%)), accuracy of information from nephrologist (eg, about prognosis or likelihood of a kidney transplant; 37% (35% to 39%)) and accuracy of nephrologists’ instructions (39% (36% to 41%)).
Haemodialysis patients are least satisfied with the complex aspects of care. Patients’ expectations for accurate information, prognosis, the likelihood of kidney transplantation and their options when choosing dialysis treatment need to be considered when planning healthcare research and practices.
PMCID: PMC4039823  PMID: 24840250
24.  The Association of Income with Health Behavior Change and Disease Monitoring among Patients with Chronic Disease 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94007.
Management of chronic diseases requires patients to adhere to recommended health behavior change and complete tests for monitoring. While studies have shown an association between low income and lack of adherence, the reasons why people with low income may be less likely to adhere are unclear. We sought to determine the association between household income and receipt of health behavior change advice, adherence to advice, receipt of recommended monitoring tests, and self-reported reasons for non-adherence/non-receipt.
We conducted a population-weighted survey, with 1849 respondents with cardiovascular-related chronic diseases (heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, stroke) from Western Canada (n = 1849). We used log-binomial regression to examine the association between household income and the outcome variables of interest: receipt of advice for and adherence to health behavior change (sodium reduction, dietary improvement, increased physical activity, smoking cessation, weight loss), reasons for non-adherence, receipt of recommended monitoring tests (cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure), and reasons for non-receipt of tests.
Behavior change advice was received equally by both low and high income respondents. Low income respondents were more likely than those with high income to not adhere to recommendations regarding smoking cessation (adjusted prevalence rate ratio (PRR): 1.55, 95%CI: 1.09–2.20), and more likely to not receive measurements of blood cholesterol (PRR: 1.72, 95%CI 1.24–2.40) or glucose (PRR: 1.80, 95%CI: 1.26–2.58). Those with low income were less likely to state that non-adherence/non-receipt was due to personal choice, and more likely to state that it was due to an extrinsic factor, such as cost or lack of accessibility.
There are important income-related differences in the patterns of health behavior change and disease monitoring, as well as reasons for non-adherence or non-receipt. Among those with low income, adherence to health behavior change and monitoring may be improved by addressing modifiable barriers such as cost and access.
PMCID: PMC3983092  PMID: 24722618
25.  Establishing a national knowledge translation and generation network in kidney disease: the CAnadian KidNey KNowledge TraNslation and GEneration NeTwork 
Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) do not always receive care consistent with guidelines, in part due to complexities in CKD management, lack of randomized trial data to inform care, and a failure to disseminate best practice. At a 2007 conference of key Canadian stakeholders in kidney disease, attendees noted that the impact of Canadian Society of Nephrology (CSN) guidelines was attenuated given limited formal linkages between the CSN Clinical Practice Guidelines Group, kidney researchers, decision makers and knowledge users, and that further knowledge was required to guide care in patients with kidney disease. The idea for the Canadian Kidney Knowledge Translation and Generation Network (CANN-NET) developed from this meeting. CANN-NET is a pan-Canadian network established in partnership with CSN, the Kidney Foundation of Canada and other professional societies to improve the care and outcomes of patients with and at risk for kidney disease. The initial priority areas for knowledge translation include improving optimal timing of dialysis initiation, and increasing the appropriate use of home dialysis. Given the urgent need for new knowledge, CANN-NET has also brought together a national group of experienced Canadian researchers to address knowledge gaps by encouraging and supporting multicentre randomized trials in priority areas, including management of cardiovascular disease in patients with kidney failure.
PMCID: PMC4346238  PMID: 25780597
Kidney disease; Knowledge translation; Clinical trials

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