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1.  Timeliness in chronic kidney disease and albuminuria identification: a retrospective cohort study 
BMC Family Practice  2015;16:18.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is predominantly managed in primary care in the UK, but there is evidence of under-identification leading to lack of inclusion on practice chronic disease registers, which are necessary to ensure disease monitoring. Guidelines for CKD patients recommend urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (uACR) testing to identify albuminuria to stratify risk and guide management. This study aimed to describe the pattern and associations of timely CKD registration and uACR testing.
A retrospective cohort of individuals with incident CKD 3–5 (two estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFR) <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 ≥ three months apart) between 2007 and 2013 was identified from a linked database containing primary and secondary care data. Descriptive statistics and Cox proportional hazards models were used to identify associations with patient characteristics of timely CKD registration and uACR testing (within a year of first low eGFR).
12,988 people with CKD 3–5 were identified from 88 practices and followed for median 3.3 years. During this time period, 3235 (24.9%) were CKD-registered and 4638/12,988 (35.7%) had uACR testing (median time to CKD registration 307 days and to uACR test 379 days). 1829 (14.1%) were CKD-registered and 2229 (17.2%) had uACR testing within one year. Amongst people whose CKD was registered within a year, 676/1829 (37.0%) had uACR testing within a year (vs. 1553/11,159 (13.9%) of those not registered (p < 0.001)). Timely uACR testing varied by year, with a sharp rise in proportion in 2009 (when uACR policy changed). Timely CKD registration was independently associated with lower eGFR, being female, earlier year of joining the cohort, having diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease but not with age. Timely uACR testing was associated with timely CKD registration, younger age, having diabetes, higher baseline eGFR and later year of joining the cohort.
Better systems are needed to support timely CKD identification, registration and uACR testing in primary care in order to facilitate risk stratification and appropriate clinical management.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12875-015-0235-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4333177
Chronic kidney disease; Albuminuria; Risk; General practice
2.  Change in prevalence of chronic kidney disease in England over time: comparison of nationally representative cross-sectional surveys from 2003 to 2010 
BMJ Open  2014;4(9):e005480.
To determine whether the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in England has changed over time.
Cross-sectional analysis of nationally representative Health Survey for England (HSE) random samples.
England 2003 and 2009/2010.
Survey participants
13 896 adults aged 16+ participating in HSE, adjusted for sampling and non-response, 2009/2010 surveys combined.
Main outcome measure
Change in prevalence of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 (as proxy for stage 3–5 CKD), from 2003 to 2009/2010 based on a single serum creatinine measure using an isotope dilution mass spectrometry traceable enzymatic assay in a single laboratory; eGFR derived using Modified Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) and Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKDEPI) eGFR formulae.
Multivariate logistic regression modelling to adjust time changes for sociodemographic and clinical factors (body mass index, hypertension, diabetes, lipids). A correction factor was applied to the 2003 HSE serum creatinine to account for a storage effect.
National prevalence of low eGFR (<60) decreased within each age and gender group for both formulae except in men aged 65–74. Prevalence of obesity and diabetes increased in this period, while there was a decrease in hypertension. Adjustment for demographic and clinical factors led to a significant decrease in CKD between the surveyed periods. The fully adjusted OR for eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 was 0.75 (0.61 to 0.92) comparing 2009/2010 with 2003 using the MDRD equation, and was similar using the CKDEPI equation 0.73 (0.57 to 0.93).
The prevalence of a low eGFR indicative of CKD in England appeared to decrease over this 7-year period, despite the rising prevalence of obesity and diabetes, two key causes of CKD. Hypertension prevalence declined and blood pressure control improved but this did not appear to explain the fall. Periodic assessment of eGFR and albuminuria in future HSEs is needed to evaluate trends in CKD.
PMCID: PMC4179568  PMID: 25270853
3.  Assessment of Proteinuria in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3: Albuminuria and Non-Albumin Proteinuria 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e98261.
Background and Objective
Proteinuria assessment is key in investigating chronic kidney disease (CKD) but uncertainty exists regarding optimal methods. Albuminuria, reflecting glomerular damage, is usually measured, but non-albumin proteinuria (NAP), reflecting tubular damage, may be important. This study investigated the prevalence and associations of albuminuria and NAP, and the optimum number of urine specimens required.
1,741 patients with CKD stage 3, recruited from primary care, underwent medical history, clinical assessment, blood sampling, and submitted three early morning urine samples for albumin to creatinine ratio (uACR) and protein to creatinine ratios (uPCR). Albuminuria was defined as uACR ≥3 mg/mmol in at least two of three samples. Isolated NAP was defined as uPCR ≥17 mg/mmol in two of three samples and uACR <3 mg/mmol in all three. Prevalence and associations of albuminuria and NAP, degree of agreement between single uACR and average of three uACRs, and urine albumin to protein ratio (uAPR = uACR/uPCR) were identified.
Albuminuria prevalence was 16% and NAP 6%. Using a <1 mg/mmol threshold for uACR reduced NAP prevalence to 3.6%. Independent associations of albuminuria were: males (OR 3.06 (95% CI, 2.23–4.19)), diabetes (OR 2.14 (1.53–3.00)), lower estimated glomerular filtration rate ((OR 2.06 (1.48–2.85) 30–44 vs 45–59), and high sensitivity CRP ((OR 1.70 (1.25–2.32)). NAP was independently associated with females (OR 6.79 (3.48–13.26)), age (OR 1.62 (1.02–2.56) 80 s vs 70–79) and high sensitivity CRP ((OR 1.74 (1.14–2.66)). Of those with uPCR≥17 mg/mmol, 62% had uAPR<0.4. Sensitivity of single uACR was 95%, specificity 98%, PPV 90%. Bland Altman plot one vs average of three uACRs showed: mean difference 0.0064 mg/mmol (SD 4.69, limits of agreement −9.19 to +9.20, absolute mean difference 0.837).
In CKD stage 3, albuminuria has associations distinct from those of isolated NAP (except for inflammatory markers). Single uACR categorised albuminuria but average of three performed better for quantification.
PMCID: PMC4035283  PMID: 24867154
4.  Genetic loci influencing kidney function and chronic kidney disease in man 
Chambers, John C | Zhang, Weihua | Lord, Graham M | van der Harst, Pim | Lawlor, Debbie A | Sehmi, Joban S | Gale, Daniel P | Wass, Mark N | Ahmadi, Kourosh R | Bakker, Stephan JL | Beckmann, Jacqui | Bilo, Henk JG | Bochud, Murielle | Brown, Morris J | Caulfield, Mark J | Connell, John M C | Cook, Terence | Cotlarciuc, Ioana | Smith, George Davey | de Silva, Ranil | Deng, Guohong | Devuyst, Olivier | Dikkeschei, Lambert D. | Dimkovic, Nada | Dockrell, Mark | Dominiczak, Anna | Ebrahim, Shah | Eggermann, Thomas | Farrall, Martin | Ferrucci, Luigi | Floege, Jurgen | Forouhi, Nita G | Gansevoort, Ron T | Han, Xijin | Hedblad, Bo | van der Heide, Jaap J Homan | Hepkema, Bouke G | Hernandez-Fuentes, Maria | Hypponen, Elina | Johnson, Toby | de Jong, Paul E | Kleefstra, Nanne | Lagou, Vasiliki | Lapsley, Marta | Li, Yun | Loos, Ruth J F | Luan, Jian'an | Luttropp, Karin | Maréchal, Céline | Melander, Olle | Munroe, Patricia B | Nordfors, Louise | Parsa, Afshin | Penninx, Brenda W. | Perucha, Esperanza | Pouta, Anneli | Prokopenko, Inga | Roderick, Paul J | Ruokonen, Aimo | Samani, Nilesh | Sanna, Serena | Schalling, Martin | Schlessinger, David | Schlieper, Georg | Seelen, Marc AJ | Shuldiner, Alan R | Sjögren, Marketa | Smit, Johannes H. | Snieder, Harold | Soranzo, Nicole | Spector, Timothy D | Stenvinkel, Peter | Sternberg, Michael JE | Swaminathan, Ramasamyiyer | Tanaka, Toshiko | Ubink-Veltmaat, Lielith J. | Uda, Manuela | Vollenweider, Peter | Wallace, Chris | Waterworth, Dawn | Zerres, Klaus | Waeber, Gerard | Wareham, Nicholas J | Maxwell, Patrick H | McCarthy, Mark I | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Mooser, Vincent | Abecasis, Goncalo R | Lightstone, Liz | Scott, James | Navis, Gerjan | Elliott, Paul | Kooner., Jaspal S
Nature genetics  2010;42(5):373-375.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD), the result of permanent loss of kidney function, is a major global problem. We identify common genetic variants at chr2p12-p13, chr6q26, chr17q23 and chr19q13 associated with serum creatinine, a marker of kidney function (P=10−10 to 10−15). SNPs rs10206899 (near NAT8, chr2p12-p13) and rs4805834 (near SLC7A9, chr19q13) were also associated with CKD. Our findings provide new insight into metabolic, solute and drug-transport pathways underlying susceptibility to CKD.
PMCID: PMC3748585  PMID: 20383145
5.  Suboptimal blood pressure control in chronic kidney disease stage 3: baseline data from a cohort study in primary care 
BMC Family Practice  2013;14:88.
Poorly controlled hypertension is independently associated with mortality, cardiovascular risk and disease progression in chronic kidney disease (CKD). In the UK, CKD stage 3 is principally managed in primary care, including blood pressure (BP) management. Controlling BP is key to improving outcomes in CKD. This study aimed to investigate associations of BP control in people with CKD stage 3.
1,741 patients with CKD 3 recruited from 32 general practices for the Renal Risk in Derby Study underwent medical history, clinical assessment and biochemistry testing. BP control was assessed by three standards: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), National Kidney Foundation Kidney Disease Outcome Quality Initiative (KDOQI) and Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) guidelines. Descriptive statistics were used to compare characteristics of people achieving and not achieving BP control. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with BP control.
The prevalence of hypertension was 88%. Among people with hypertension, 829/1426 (58.1%) achieved NICE BP targets, 512/1426 (35.9%) KDOQI targets and 859/1426 (60.2%) KDIGO targets. Smaller proportions of people with diabetes and/or albuminuria achieved hypertension targets. 615/1426 (43.1%) were only taking one antihypertensive agent. On multivariable analysis, BP control (NICE and KDIGO) was negatively associated with age (NICE odds ratio (OR) 0.27; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.17-0.43) 70–79 compared to <60), diabetes (OR 0.32; 95% CI 0.25-0.43)), and albuminuria (OR 0.56; 95% CI 0.42-0.74)). For the KDOQI target, there was also association with males (OR 0.76; 95% CI 0.60-0.96)) but not diabetes (target not diabetes specific). Older people were less likely to achieve systolic targets (NICE target OR 0.17 (95% CI 0.09,0.32) p < 0.001) and more likely to achieve diastolic targets (OR 2.35 (95% CI 1.11,4.96) p < 0.001) for people >80 compared to < 60).
Suboptimal BP control was common in CKD patients with hypertension in this study, particularly those at highest risk of adverse outcomes due to diabetes and or albuminuria. This study suggests there is scope for improving BP control in people with CKD by using more antihypertensive agents in combination while considering issues of adherence and potential side effects.
PMCID: PMC3701497  PMID: 23800117
Chronic kidney disease; Hypertension; Blood pressure control; Albuminuria; Diabetes; Primary care
6.  Systematic review of the diagnostic performance of serum markers of liver fibrosis in alcoholic liver disease 
Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a significant cause of death and morbidity. Detection of liver fibrosis at an early stage could provide opportunities for more optimal management. Serum markers of liver fibrosis offer an alternative to biopsy. Evidence of the performance of biomarkers in ALD is needed and a systematic review to evaluate available studies was conducted.
Electronic databases were searched. Studies were included if they evaluated paired samples of biopsy and serum, and presented data as sensitivity, specificity, or ROC curves.
15 studies were included- median participant number = 146 (range 44–1034). Studies differed with respect to patient populations. 6 single markers were evaluated (mostly Hyaluronic Acid), and ten combined panels. Biomarkers could discriminate between people with severe fibrosis/cirrhosis with high diagnostic accuracy- HA (median AUROC 0.79 range 0.69-0.93), panels (median AUROC 0.83 range 0.38-0.95). Significant heterogeneity precluded pooling. Performance was poorer for detecting less severe fibrosis.
There are limited numbers of small studies evaluating the accuracy of biomarkers in identifying fibrosis on biopsy in ALD. Some showed promise (both HA alone and some panels) in the identification of cirrhosis/severe fibrosis and could be used to rule it out in heavy drinkers. Biomarkers less accurate with less severe fibrosis.
PMCID: PMC3583674  PMID: 23273224
Alcoholic liver disease; Systematic review; Serum markers; Liver fibrosis
7.  CKD and Hospitalization in the Elderly: A Community-Based Cohort Study in the United Kingdom 
We previously have shown that chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality in community-dwelling people 75 years and older. The present study addresses the hypothesis that CKD is associated with a higher rate of hospital admission at an older age.
Study Design
Cohort study.
Setting & Participants
15,336 participants from 53 UK general practices underwent comprehensive health assessment between 1994 and 1999.
Data for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR, derived from creatinine levels using the CKD Epidemiology Collaboration [CKD-EPI] study equation) and dipstick proteinuria were available for 12,371 participants.
Hospital admissions collected from hospital discharge letters for 2 years after assessment.
Age, sex, cardiovascular risk factors, possible biochemical and health consequences of kidney disease (hemoglobin, phosphate, and albumin levels; physical and mental health problems).
2,310 (17%) participants had 1 hospital admission, and 981 (7%) had 2 or more. After adjusting for age, sex, and cardiovascular risk factors, HRs were 1.66 (95% CI, 1.21-2.27), 1.17 (95% CI, 0.95-1.43), 1.08 (95% CI, 0.90-1.30), and 1.11 (95% CI, 0.91-1.35) for eGFRs <30, 30-44, 45-59, and ≥75 mL/min/1.73 m2, respectively, compared with eGFRs of 60-74 mL/min/1.73 m2 for hospitalizations during <6 months of follow-up. HRs were weaker for follow-up of 6-18 months. Dipstick-positive proteinuria was associated with an increased HR throughout follow-up (HR, 1.29 [95% CI, 1.11-1.49], adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors). Dipstick-positive proteinuria and eGFR <30 mL/min/1.73 m2 were independently associated with 2 or more hospital admissions during the 2-year follow-up. Adjustment for other health factors and laboratory measurements attenuated the effect of eGFR, but not the effect of proteinuria.
Follow-up limited to 2 years, selection bias due to nonparticipation in study, missing data for potential covariates, and single noncalibrated measurements from multiple laboratories.
The study indicates that community-dwelling older people who have dipstick-positive proteinuria and/or eGFR <30 mL/min/1.73 m2 are at increased risk of hospitalization.
PMCID: PMC3392651  PMID: 21146270
Chronic kidney disease; cohort study; dipstick proteinuria testing; general population; hospitalization; older people
9.  Study of infectious intestinal disease in England: rates in the community, presenting to general practice, and reported to national surveillance 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1999;318(7190):1046-1050.
To establish the incidence and aetiology of infectious intestinal disease in the community and presenting to general practitioners. Comparison with incidence and aetiology of cases reaching national laboratory based surveillance.
Population based community cohort incidence study, general practice based incidence studies, and case linkage to national laboratory surveillance.
70 general practices throughout England.
459 975 patients served by the practices. Community surveillance of 9776 randomly selected patients.
Main outcome measures
Incidence of infectious intestinal disease in community and reported to general practice.
781 cases were identified in the community cohort, giving an incidence of 19.4/100 person years (95% confidence interval 18.1 to 20.8). 8770 cases presented to general practice (3.3/100 person years (2.94 to 3.75)). One case was reported to national surveillance for every 1.4 laboratory identifications, 6.2 stools sent for laboratory investigation, 23 cases presenting to general practice, and 136 community cases. The ratio of cases in the community to cases reaching national surveillance was lower for bacterial pathogens (salmonella 3.2:1, campylobacter 7.6:1) than for viruses (rotavirus 35:1, small round structured viruses 1562:1). There were many cases for which no organism was identified.
Infectious intestinal disease occurs in 1 in 5 people each year, of whom 1 in 6 presents to a general practitioner. The proportion of cases not recorded by national laboratory surveillance is large and varies widely by microorganism. Ways of supplementing the national laboratory surveillance system for infectious intestinal diseases should be considered.
Key messagesInfectious intestinal disease is common, with 9.4 million estimated cases each year in EnglandIn 1.5 million cases (1 in 6) patients present to their general practitionerOnly a fraction of these cases are reported to national laboratory surveillanceA greater proportion of cases due to common bacterial pathogens are reported than cases due to common viral pathogensWays of supplementing the national laboratory surveillance system for infectious intestinal diseases should be considered
PMCID: PMC27838  PMID: 10205103

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