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1.  Rise in dermal CD11c+ dendritic cells associates with early-stage development of psoriatic lesions 
Archives of Dermatological Research  2012;304(6):443-449.
There is limited information available regarding the phenotype and function of leukocytes involved in the earliest stages of psoriatic lesion development. In this study, we examined the presence of different types of leukocytes in psoriatic point lesions collected at three 1-week interval time points from a recent and simultaneously formed group of point lesions. The cells were quantified and compared with K16 expression and epidermal thickness, both typically increased in this disease and considered as hallmarks. We found a significant correlation between K16+ cell increment and the increase in epidermal thickness in the timeframe of 14 days. The change in CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ T-cell numbers in the dermis showed a significant association with these two features from d7 to d14, whereas in the epidermis only CD8+ T cells demonstrated a significant correlation. Remarkably, the relationship between T cells and disease progression was preceded by a significant correlation of CD11c+ dendritic cells (DCs) with K16 expression and epidermal thickness from baseline onwards. Interestingly, there was also a numeric correlation of CD11c+ DCs with the CD3+ T-cell shifts from d7 to d14. A significant correlation was also found between dermal CD14+ cells and K16 expression from d7 to d14. BDCA-2+ plasmacytoid DCs were absent in non-lesional skin, but found at low numbers in most lesions. The change in plasmacytoid DC or neutrophil numbers did not correlate with lesion development. In conclusion, our study suggests a relevant role for T cells, and in particular dermal CD11c+ DCs, in the earliest stage of psoriatic lesion development.
PMCID: PMC3401310  PMID: 22438166
Psoriasis; Point lesion; Early infiltrate; T cell; Dendritic cell; CD11c
2.  A selective and potent CXCR3 antagonist SCH 546738 attenuates the development of autoimmune diseases and delays graft rejection 
BMC Immunology  2012;13:2.
The CXCR3 receptor and its three interferon-inducible ligands (CXCL9, CXCL10 and CXCL11) have been implicated as playing a central role in directing a Th1 inflammatory response. Recent studies strongly support that the CXCR3 receptor is a very attractive therapeutic target for treating autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and psoriasis, and to prevent transplant rejection. We describe here the in vitro and in vivo pharmacological characterizations of a novel and potent small molecule CXCR3 antagonist, SCH 546738.
In this study, we evaluated in vitro pharmacological properties of SCH 546738 by radioligand receptor binding and human activated T cell chemotaxis assays. In vivo efficacy of SCH 546738 was determined by mouse collagen-induced arthritis, rat and mouse experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, and rat cardiac transplantation models. We show that SCH 546738 binds to human CXCR3 with a high affinity of 0.4 nM. In addition, SCH 546738 displaces radiolabeled CXCL10 and CXCL11 from human CXCR3 with IC50 ranging from 0.8 to 2.2 nM in a non-competitive manner. SCH 546738 potently and specifically inhibits CXCR3-mediated chemotaxis in human activated T cells with IC90 about 10 nM. SCH 546738 attenuates the disease development in mouse collagen-induced arthritis model. SCH 546738 also significantly reduces disease severity in rat and mouse experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis models. Furthermore, SCH 546738 alone achieves dose-dependent prolongation of rat cardiac allograft survival. Most significantly, SCH 546738 in combination with CsA supports permanent engraftment.
SCH 546738 is a novel, potent and non-competitive small molecule CXCR3 antagonist. It is efficacious in multiple preclinical disease models. These results demonstrate that therapy with CXCR3 antagonists may serve as a new strategy for treatment of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, and to prevent transplant rejection.
PMCID: PMC3298469  PMID: 22233170
3.  Inflammatory Signals shift from adipose to liver during high fat feeding and influence the development of steatohepatitis in mice 
Obesity and inflammation are highly integrated processes in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Molecular mechanisms underlying inflammatory events during high fat diet-induced obesity are poorly defined in mouse models of obesity. This work investigated gene activation signals integral to the temporal development of obesity.
Gene expression analysis in multiple organs from obese mice was done with Taqman Low Density Array (TLDA) using a panel of 92 genes representing cell markers, cytokines, chemokines, metabolic, and activation genes. Mice were monitored for systemic changes characteristic of the disease, including hyperinsulinemia, body weight, and liver enzymes. Liver steatosis and fibrosis as well as cellular infiltrates in liver and adipose tissues were analyzed by histology and immunohistochemistry.
Obese C57BL/6 mice were fed with high fat and cholesterol diet (HFC) for 6, 16 and 26 weeks. Here we report that the mRNA levels of macrophage and inflammation associated genes were strongly upregulated at different time points in adipose tissues (6-16 weeks) and liver (16-26 weeks), after the start of HFC feeding. CD11b+ and CD11c+ macrophages highly infiltrated HFC liver at 16 and 26 weeks. We found clear evidence that signals for IL-1β, IL1RN, TNF-α and TGFβ-1 are present in both adipose and liver tissues and that these are linked to the development of inflammation and insulin resistance in the HFC-fed mice.
Macrophage infiltration accompanied by severe inflammation and metabolic changes occurred in both adipose and liver tissues with a temporal shift in these signals depending upon the duration of HFC feeding. The evidences of gene expression profile, elevated serum alanine aminotransferase, and histological data support a progression towards nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis in these HFC-fed mice within the time frame of 26 weeks.
PMCID: PMC3070617  PMID: 21410952
4.  End-Stage Renal Disease from Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome in the United States, 1995 to 2010 
Management of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) has evolved rapidly, and optimal treatment strategies are controversial. However, it is unknown whether the burden of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) from HUS has changed, and outcomes on dialysis in the US are not well described.
We retrospectively examined data for patients initiating maintenance renal replacement therapy (RRT) (n = 1,557,117), 1995–2010, to define standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) and outcomes of ESRD from HUS) (n = 2241).
Overall ESRD rates from HUS in 2001–2002 were 0.5 cases/million per year; and were higher for patients characterized by age 40–64 years (0.6), ≥ 65 years (0.7), female sex (0.6), and non-Hispanic African American race (0.7). SIRs remained unchanged (P ≥ 0.05) between 2001–2002 and 2009–2010 in the overall population. Compared with patients with ESRD from other causes, patients with HUS were more likely to be younger, female, white, and non-Hispanic. Over 5.4 years of follow-up, HUS patients differed from matched controls with ESRD from other causes by lower rates of death (8.3 per 100 person-years in cases vs. 10.4 in controls, P < 0.001), listing for renal transplant (7.6 vs. 8.6 per 100 person-years, P = 0.04), and undergoing transplant (6.9 vs. 9 per 100 person-years, P < 0.001).
The incidence of ESRD from HUS appears not to have risen substantially in the last decade. However, given that HUS subtypes could not be determined in this study, these findings should be interpreted with caution.
PMCID: PMC4539282  PMID: 25689876
Dialysis outcomes; hemolytic uremic syndrome; incidence
5.  Prevalence of CKD and Comorbid Illness in Elderly Patients in the United States: Results From the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) 
Elderly individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have high rates of comorbid conditions, including cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, and CKD-related complications. In individuals aged ≥ 65 years, we sought to describe the prevalence of CKD determined from laboratory test results in the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP; n = 27,017) and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2006 (n = 5,538) and the prevalence of diagnosed CKD determined from billing codes in the Medicare 5% sample (n = 1,236,946). In all 3 data sources, we also explored comorbid conditions and CKD-related complications.
CKD was identified as decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate (<60 mL/min/1.73 m2) or increased albumin-creatinine ratio in KEEP and NHANES; CKD was identified using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes in Medicare. Investigated comorbid conditions included diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol level, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, and cancer, and CKD-related complications included anemia, hypocalcemia, hyperphosphatemia, and hyperparathyroidism.
The prevalence of CKD was ~44% in both KEEP and NHANES participants, and the prevalence of diagnosed CKD was 7% in Medicare beneficiaries. In all 3 data sets, the prevalence of CKD or diagnosed CKD was higher in participants aged ≥ 80 years and those with comorbid conditions. For KEEP and NHANES participants, the prevalence of most comorbid conditions and CKD complications increased with decreasing estimated glomerular filtration rate. For participants with CKD stages 3-5, a total of 29.2% (95% CI, 27.8-30.6) in KEEP and 19.9% (95% CI, 17.0-23.1) in NHANES had anemia, 0.7% (95% CI, 0.4-0.9) and 0.6% (95% CI, 0.3-1.3) had hypocalcemia, 5.4% (95% CI, 4.7-6.1) and 6.4% (95% CI, 5.1-8.0) had hyperphosphatemia, and 52.0% (95% CI, 50.4-53.6) and 30.0% (95% CI, 25.9-34.3) had hyperparathyroidism, respectively.
CKD is common in the elderly population and is associated with high frequencies of concomitant comorbid conditions and biochemical abnormalities. Because CKD is not commonly diagnosed, greater emphasis on physician education may be beneficial.
PMCID: PMC4574484  PMID: 20172445
Aged; chronic kidney disease; comorbidity
6.  The Synergistic Relationship between Estimated GFR and Microalbuminuria in Predicting Long-term Progression to ESRD or Death in Patients with Diabetes: Results from the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) 
Chronic kidney disease may complicate diabetes, often manifesting with reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR), albuminuria, or both. Although greater albuminuria and lower estimated GFR both predict adverse prognosis, whether a synergistic prognostic interaction occurs in patients with diabetes has not been defined in a large national cohort study.
We used 2000–2011 data from the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) for 42,761 participants with diabetes. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and multivariable Cox regression were used to ascertain the association of estimated GFR, albumin-creatinine ratio (ACR), and their interaction on all-cause mortality and progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) at a median 4 years of follow-up.
Of 42,761 participants with diabetes, 8,618 (20.2%) had estimated GFR <60 mL/min/1.732, 7,715 (18.0%) had ACR >30 mg/g, and 2,641 (6.2%) had both. The unadjusted incidence (per 1,000 person-years) of all-cause mortality increased from 3.1 (95% CI, 2.4–3.8) in participants with estimated GFR ≥105 mL/min/1.73 m2 and no albuminuria to 73.7 (95% CI, 54.9–92.5) in participants with estimated GFR <30 mL/min/1.73 m2 and macroalbuminuria (P <0.001). Progression to ESRD likewise increased from 0.2 (95% CI, 0–0.4) to 220.4 (95% CI, 177.2–263.6) per 1,000 person-years (P < 0.001). After adjustment for confounders, both estimated GFR and albuminuria were associated independently with mortality and progression to ESRD, with a strong synergistic interaction (P for interaction <0.001); estimated GFR <30 mL/min/1.73 m2 and macroalbuminuria together were associated with a 5-fold higher risk of mortality and a more than 1,000-fold higher risk of progression to ESRD (compared with patients with estimated GFR >60 mL/min/1.73 m2 and ACR <30 mg/g; P <0.001 for both outcomes).
In this large cohort of diabetic KEEP participants with more than 170,000 person-years of follow-up, both estimated GFR and albuminuria were associated independently with mortality and progression to ESRD, with a strong synergistic interaction.
PMCID: PMC4492431  PMID: 23507266
Albuminuria; chronic kidney disease; end-stage renal disease; diabetes mellitus; glomerular filtration rate; mortality; nonalbuminuric chronic kidney disease
7.  United States Renal Data System public health surveillance of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease 
The United States Renal Data System (USRDS) began in 1989 through US Congressional authorization under National Institutes of Health competitive contracting. Its history includes five contract periods, two of 5 years, two of 7.5 years, and the fifth, awarded in February 2014, of 5 years. Over these 25 years, USRDS reporting transitioned from basic incidence and prevalence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), modalities, and overall survival, as well as focused special studies on dialysis, in the first two contract periods to a comprehensive assessment of aspects of care that affect morbidity and mortality in the second two periods. Beginning in 1999, the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation investigative team transformed the USRDS into a total care reporting system including disease severity, hospitalizations, pediatric populations, prescription drug use, and chronic kidney disease and the transition to ESRD. Areas of focus included issues related to death rates in the first 4 months of treatment, sudden cardiac death, ischemic and valvular heart disease, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, and infectious complications (particularly related to dialysis catheters) in hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis patients; the burden of congestive heart failure and infectious complications in pediatric dialysis and transplant populations; and morbidity and access to care. The team documented a plateau and decline in incidence rates, a 28% decline in death rates since 2001, and changes under the 2011 Prospective Payment System with expanded bundled payments for each dialysis treatment. The team reported on Bayesian methods to calculate mortality ratios, which reduce the challenges of traditional methods, and introduced objectives under the Health People 2010 and 2020 national health care goals for kidney disease.
PMCID: PMC4455192  PMID: 26097778
end-stage renal disease; public health; surveillance; United States Renal Data System
8.  End-Stage Renal Disease From Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease in the United States, 2001-2010 
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is amenable to early detection and specialty care. Thus, while important to patients with the condition, end-stage renal disease (ESRD) from ADPKD may also be an indicator of the overall state of nephrology care.
Study Design
Retrospective cohort study of temporal trends in renal replacement therapy (RRT)-requiring ESRD from ADPKD and pre-RRT nephrologist care, 2001-2010 (n = 23,772).
Setting & Participants
US patients who initiated maintenance RRT between 2001 and 2010 (n = 1,069,343), from United States Renal Data System data.
RRT-requiring ESRD from ADPKD.
Death, wait-listing for renal transplant, renal transplant.
US census data were used as population denominators. The Poisson distribution was used to compute incidence rates. Incidence ratios were standardized to rates in 2001-2002 for age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Patients with and without ADPKD were matched to compare clinical outcomes. Poisson regression was used to calculate incidence rates and adjusted hazards ratios for clinical events after inception of RRT.
General population incidence ratios in 2009-2010 were unchanged from 2001-2002 (incidence ratio 1.02). Of patients with ADPKD, 48.1% received > 12 months of nephrology care before RRT; preemptive transplant was the initial RRT in 14.3% and fistula the initial hemodialysis access in 35.8%. Over 4.9 years of follow-up, patients with ADPKD were more likely to be listed for transplant (11.7 [95% CI 11.5-12.0] per 100 person-years vs. 8.4 [8.2-8.7]) and to undergo transplant (9.8 [9.5-10.0] vs. 4.8 [4.7-5.0]), and less likely to die (5.6 [5.4-5.7] vs. 15.5 [15.3-15.8]) than matched controls without ADPKD.
Retrospective, nonexperimental, registry-based study of associations; cause-and-effect relationships cannot be determined.
While outcomes on dialysis are better for ADPKD than for non-ADPKD patients, access to predialysis nephrology care and non-declining ESRD rates may be a cause for concern.
PMCID: PMC4396817  PMID: 25134777
Dialysis; end-stage renal disease; polycystic kidney disease; renal replacement therapy; renal transplant
9.  Risk Factors for ESRD in Individuals With Preserved Estimated GFR With and Without Albuminuria: Results From the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) 
Given the increasing costs and poor outcomes of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), we sought to identify risk factors for ESRD in people with preserved estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), with or without albuminuria, who were at high risk of ESRD.
This cohort study included participants in the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) with eGFR ≥60 mL/min/1.73 m2 at baseline stratified by the presence or absence of albuminuria. The Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation was used to calculate eGFR. Urine was tested for albuminuria by semiquantitative dipstick. The outcome was the development of treated chronic kidney failure, defined as initiation of maintenance dialysis therapy or kidney transplantation, determined by linkage to the US Renal Data System. We used a Cox model with the Fine-Gray method to assess risk factors for treated chronic kidney failure while accounting for the competing risk of death.
During a median follow-up of 4.8 years, 126 of 13,923 participants with albuminuria (16/10,000 patient-years) and 56 of 109,135 participants without albuminuria (1.1/10,000 patient-years) developed treated chronic kidney failure. Diabetes was a strong risk factor for developing treated chronic kidney failure in participants with and without albuminuria (adjusted HRs of 9.3 [95% CI, 5.7–15.3] and 7.8 [95% CI, 4.1–14.8], respectively). Black race, lower eGFR, and higher systolic blood pressure also were associated with higher adjusted risks of developing treated chronic kidney failure.
In a diverse high-risk cohort of KEEP participants with preserved eGFR, we showed that diabetes, higher systolic blood pressure, lower eGFR, and black race were risk factors for developing treated chronic kidney failure irrespective of albuminuria status, although the absolute risk of kidney failure in participants without albuminuria was very low. Our findings support testing for kidney disease in high-risk populations, which often have otherwise unrecognized kidney disease.
PMCID: PMC4117734  PMID: 23507268
Albuminuria; blood pressure; chronic kidney disease; diabetes; dialysis risk factors; end-stage renal disease; public health
10.  No independent association of serum phosphorus with risk for death or progression to end-stage renal disease in a large screen for chronic kidney disease 
Kidney international  2013;84(5):989-997.
Whether higher serum phosphorus levels are associated with a higher risk for death and/or progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is not well established, and whether the association is confounded by access and barriers to care is unknown. To answer these questions, data of 10,672 individuals identified to have CKD (estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 ml/min per 1.73 m2) from those participating in a community-based screening program were analyzed. Over a median follow-up of 2.3 years, there was no association between quartiles of serum phosphorus and all-cause mortality (adjusted hazards ratio for serum phosphorus over 3.3 to 3.7, over 3.7 to 4.1, and over 4.1 mg/dl, respectively: 1.22 (0.95–1.56), 1.00 (0.76–1.32), and 1.00 (0.75–1.33); reference, serum phosphorus of 3.3 mg/dl and below). Individuals in the highest quartile for serum phosphorus had a significantly higher risk for progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) (unadjusted hazards ratio, 6.72 (4.16–10.85)); however, the risk became nonsignificant on adjustment for potential confounders. There was no appreciable change in hazards ratio with inclusion of variables related to access and barriers to care. Additional analyses in subgroups based on 12 different variables yielded similar negative associations. Thus, in the largest cohort of individuals with early-stage CKD to date, we could not validate an independent association of serum phosphorus with risk for death or progression to ESRD.
PMCID: PMC4103660  PMID: 23615501
barrier to care; cardiovascular disease; chronic kidney disease; end-stage renal disease; mortality; phosphorus
11.  Agreement of reported vascular access on the medical evidence report and on medicare claims at hemodialysis initiation 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:30.
The choice of vascular access type is an important aspect of care for incident hemodialysis patients. However, data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medical Evidence Report (form CMS-2728) identifying the first access for incident patients have not previously been validated. Medicare began requiring that vascular access type be reported on claims in July 2010. We aimed to determine the agreement between the reported vascular access at initiation from form CMS-2728 and from Medicare claims.
This retrospective study used a cohort of 9777 patients who initiated dialysis in the latter half of 2010 and were eligible for Medicare at the start of renal replacement therapy to compare the vascular access type reported on form CMS-2728 with the type reported on Medicare outpatient dialysis claims for the same patients. For each patient, the reported access from each data source was compiled; the percent agreement represented the percent of patients for whom the access was the same. Multivariate logistic analysis was performed to identify characteristics associated with the agreement of reported access.
The two data sources agreed for 94% of patients, with a Kappa statistic of 0.83, indicating an excellent level of agreement. Further, we found no evidence to suggest that agreement was associated with the patient characteristics of age, sex, race, or primary cause of renal failure.
These results suggest that vascular access data as reported on form CMS-2728 are valid and reliable for use in research studies.
PMCID: PMC3922277  PMID: 24507475
Hemodialysis; Medicare; Validation; Vascular access
12.  Recovery of Renal Function among ESRD Patients in the US Medicare Program 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83447.
Patients started on long term hemodialysis have typically had low rates of reported renal recovery with recent estimates ranging from 0.9–2.4% while higher rates of recovery have been reported in cohorts with higher percentages of patients with acute renal failure requiring dialysis.
Study Design
Our analysis followed approximately 194,000 patients who were initiated on hemodialysis during a 2-year period (2008 & 2009) with CMS-2728 forms submitted to CMS by dialysis facilities, cross-referenced with patient record updates through the end of 2010, and tracked through December 2010 in the CMS SIMS registry.
We report a sustained renal recovery (i.e no return to ESRD during the available follow up period) rate among Medicare ESRD patients of > 5% - much higher than previously reported. Recovery occurred primarily in the first 2 months post incident dialysis, and was more likely in cases with renal failure secondary to etiologies associated with acute kidney injury. Patients experiencing sustained recovery were markedly less likely than true long-term ESRD patients to have permanent vascular accesses in place at incident hemodialysis, while non-White patients, and patients with any prior nephrology care appeared to have significantly lower rates of renal recovery. We also found widespread geographic variation in the rates of renal recovery across the United States.
Renal recovery rates in the US Medicare ESRD program are higher than previously reported and appear to have significant geographic variation. Patients with diagnoses associated with acute kidney injury who are initiated on long-term hemodialysis have significantly higher rates of renal recovery than the general ESRD population and lower rates of permanent access placement.
PMCID: PMC3866227  PMID: 24358285
13.  Awareness of Kidney Disease and Relationship to End-Stage Renal Disease and Mortality 
The American Journal of Medicine  2012;125(7):661-669.
Patients with chronic kidney disease are often reported to be unaware. We prospectively evaluated the association between awareness of kidney disease to end-stage renal disease and mortality.
We utilized 2000–2009 data from the National Kidney Foundation-Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP™). Mortality was determined by cross reference to the Social Security Administration Death Master File, and development of end-stage by cross reference with the United States Renal Data System.
Of 109,285 participants, 28,244 (26%) had chronic kidney disease defined by albuminuria or eGFR <60ml/min/1.73m2. Only 9% (n=2660) reported being aware of kidney disease. Compared to those who were not aware, participants aware of chronic kidney disease had lower eGFR (49 vs 62ml/min/1.73m2) and a higher prevalence of albuminuria (52 vs 46%), diabetes (47 vs 42%), cardiovascular disease (43 vs 28%) and cancer (23 vs 14%). Over 8.5 years of follow-up, aware participants compared to those unaware had a lower rate of survival for end-stage (83% and 96%) and mortality (78 vs 81%), p<0.001 respectively. After adjustment for demographics, socioeconomic factors, comorbidity, and severity of kidney disease, aware participants continued to demonstrate an increased risk for end-stage renal disease [hazard ratio (95% CI) 1.37(1.07–1.75); p<0.0123] and mortality [1.27(1.07–1.52); p<0.0077] relative to unaware participants with chronic kidney disease.
Among persons identified as having chronic kidney disease at a health screening, only a small proportion had been made aware of their diagnosis previously by clinicians. This subgroup was at a disproportionately high risk for mortality and end-stage renal disease.
PMCID: PMC3383388  PMID: 22626510
KEEP; CKD; awareness; ESRD; mortality
14.  Access to Health Care Among Adults Evaluated for CKD: Findings From the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) 
Data are scant regarding access to health care in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). We performed descriptive analyses using data from the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP), a nationwide health screening program for adults at high risk of CKD.
From 2000–2010, a total of 122,502 adults without end-stage renal disease completed KEEP screenings; 27,927 (22.8%) met criteria for CKD (10,082, stages 1–2; 16,684, stage 3; and 1,161, stages 4–5). CKD awareness, self-rated health status, frequency of physician visits, difficulty obtaining medical care, types of caregivers, insurance status, and medication coverage and estimated costs were assessed.
Participants with CKD were more likely to report fair/poor health status than those without CKD. Health care utilization increased at later CKD stages; ~95% of participants at stages 3–5 had visited a physician during the preceding year compared with 83.7% of participants without CKD. More Hispanic and African American than white participants at all CKD stages reported not having a physician. Approximately 40% of participants younger than 65 years reported fair/poor health status at stages 4–5 compared with ~30% who were 65 years and older. Younger participants at all stages were more likely to report extreme or somewhat/moderate difficulty obtaining medical care. Comorbid conditions (diabetes, hypertension, and prior cardiovascular events) were associated with increased utilization of care. Utilization of nephrology care was poor at all CKD stages; <6% of participants at stage 3 and <30% at stages 4–5 reported ever seeing a nephrologist.
Lack of health insurance and perceived difficulty obtaining medical care with lower health care utilization, both of which are consistent with inadequate access to health care, are more likely for KEEP participants who are younger than 65 years, nonwhite, and without previously diagnosed comorbid conditions. Nephrology care is infrequent in elderly participants with advanced CKD who are nonwhite, have comorbid disease, and have high-risk states for cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC3694584  PMID: 22339901
Chronic kidney disease; health care access; health insurance; medication payment; socioeconomic status; educational status
15.  The Association between Parathyroid Hormone Levels and Hemoglobin in Diabetic and Nondiabetic Participants in the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Early Evaluation Program 
Cardiorenal Medicine  2013;3(2):120-127.
Both anemia and secondary hyperparathyroidism are reflections of hormonal failure in chronic kidney disease (CKD). While the association of elevated levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) and anemia has been studied among those with advanced CKD, less is known about this association in mild-to-moderate CKD.
In a cross-sectional analysis, the relationship between PTH and hemoglobin levels was investigated in 10,750 participants in the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Early Evaluation Program with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 ml/min/1.73 m2.
In the unadjusted analysis, higher PTH levels were associated with lower hemoglobin levels. However, after multivariable adjustment for age, race, gender, smoking status, education, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, albuminuria, BMI, baseline eGFR, calcium, and phosphorus, the direction of association changed. As compared to the first PTH quintile, hemoglobin levels were 0.09 g/dl (95% CI: 0.01-0.18), 0.15 g/dl (95% CI: 0.07-0.24), 0.18 g/dl (95% CI: 0.09-0.26), and 0.13 g/dl (95% CI: 0.07-0.25) higher for the second, third, fourth, and fifth quintiles, respectively. Similarly, each standard deviation increase in natural log transformed PTH was associated with a 0.06 g/dl (95% CI: 0.03-0.09, p = 0.0003) increase in hemoglobin. However, a significant effect modification was seen for diabetes (p = 0.0003). Each standard deviation increase in natural log transformed PTH was associated with a 0.10 g/dl (95% CI: 0.054-0.138, p < 0.0001) increase in hemoglobin, while no association was seen among those without diabetes mellitus.
After multivariable adjustment, there was a small positive association between PTH and hemoglobin among diabetics but not among nondiabetics.
PMCID: PMC3721130  PMID: 23922552
Chronic kidney disease; Anemia; Secondary hyperparathyroidism

16.  Physician Utilization, Risk-Factor Control, and CKD Progression Among Participants in the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) 
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular mortality, but little is known about the association between physician utilization and cardiovascular disease risk-factor control in patients with CKD. We used 2005–2010 data from the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) to examine this association at first and subsequent screenings.
Control of risk factors was defined as control of blood pressure, glycemia, and cholesterol levels. We used multinomial logistic regression to examine the association between participant characteristics and seeing a nephrologist after adjusting for kidney function and paired t tests or McNemar tests to compare characteristics at first and second screenings.
Of 90,009 participants, 61.3% had a primary care physician only, 2.9% had seen a nephrologist, and 15.3% had seen another specialist. The presence of 3 risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia) increased from 26.8% in participants with CKD stages 1–2 to 31.9% in those with stages 4–5. Target levels of all risk factors were achieved in 7.2% of participants without a physician, 8.3% of those with a primary care physician only, 9.9% of those with a nephrologist, and 10.3% of those with another specialist. Of up to 7,025 participants who met at least one criterion for nephrology consultation at first screening, only 12.3% reported seeing a nephrologist. Insurance coverage was associated strongly with seeing a nephrologist. Of participants who met criteria for nephrology consultation, 406 (5.8%) returned for a second screening, of whom 19.7% saw a nephrologist. The percentage of participants with all risk factors controlled was higher at the second screening (20.9% vs 13.3%).
Control of cardiovascular risk factors is poor in the KEEP population. The percentage of participants seeing a nephrologist is low, although better after the first screening. Identifying communication barriers between nephrologists and primary care physicians may be a new focus for KEEP.
PMCID: PMC3654535  PMID: 22339899
Cardiovascular disease risk factors; chronic kidney disease; nephrologist care; primary care
18.  Racial and Ethnic Differences in Albuminuria in Individuals With Estimated GFR Greater Than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2: Results From the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) 
Albuminuria is an important marker for chronic kidney disease and progression to end-stage renal disease in the general population; understanding racial and ethnic differences can help inform efforts to reduce health disparities. We sought to estimate independent associations of race/ethnicity with albuminuria to determine whether observed differences were attributable to known kidney disease risk factors.
This cross-sectional study included 64,161 Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) participants, 2000–2008, with estimated glomerular filtration rate ≥ 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, not on regular dialysis, and without previous kidney transplant. Albuminuria (urine albumin-creatinine ratio [ACR] ≥ 30 mg/g) was examined by self-reported race and ethnicity. Covariates were age, sex, educational level, body mass index, diabetes status or glucose level, hypertension status or blood pressure measurement, smoking status, health insurance status, and geographic region.
Albuminuria prevalence was 8% (n = 2303) in whites, 11% (n = 2310) in African Americans, 9% (n = 730) in Hispanics, 10% (n = 381) in Asians, and 15% (n = 344) in American Indians/Alaska Natives. Compared with whites, odds of albuminuria were higher for all groups after multivariate adjustment. Odds were highest for American Indians/Alaska Natives (adjusted odds ratio 1.93, 95% confidence interval 1.70–2.20), then Asians (1.42, 1.26–1.61), African Americans (1.38, 1.29–1.47), and Hispanics (1.19, 1.08–1.31).
In the KEEP study population, albuminuria prevalence was higher among African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and American Indians/Alaska Natives than among non-Hispanic whites, suggesting a need for screening for early detection of kidney damage, especially among people at increased risk, in the community primary care setting.
PMCID: PMC3507474  PMID: 20172444
19.  Dysglycemia but not lipids is associated with abnormal urinary albumin excretion in diabetic kidney disease: a report from the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) 
BMC Nephrology  2012;13:104.
The relationship between glycemic control and lipid abnormalities with urinary albumin-creatinine ratio (ACR) in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) is unknown. We sought to investigate the association of dyslipidemia and glycemic control with levels of albuminuria in the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) participants with DM and CKD stage 3 or higher.
We performed a cross-sectional study of 6639 eligible KEEP patients with DM and CKD Stage 3 to 5 from June 2008 to December 2009. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate the association of lipid parameters (per 10 mg/dl change in serum level) and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) values with three degrees of albuminuria normo (<30 mg⁄g), micro (30 to 300 mg⁄g) and macro (>300 mg⁄g).
2141 KEEP participants were included. HbA1c levels were strongly associated with micro-albuminuria (compared to normo-albuminuria) and macro-albuminuria (compared to normo-albuminuria and micro-albuminuria). Each 1.0% increase in HbA1c increased the odds of micro-albuminuria by 32% (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.23-1.42) and the odds of macro-albuminuria (vs. microalbuminuria) by 16% (OR 1.16, 95% CI 1.05-1.28). Only increases in serum HDL were associated with decreased odds of micro-albuminuria; otherwise, the association between other components of the serum lipid profile with urinary ACR did not reach statistical significance.
In this cross-sectional study of 2141 KEEP participants with DM and CKD stages 3–5, overall glycemic control but not lipids were associated with abnormal urinary albumin excretion, a marker of increased risk for progressive disease.
PMCID: PMC3480932  PMID: 22958709
Chronic Kidney Disease; Diabetes Mellitus; Proteinuria; Dyslipidemia; Glycosylated hemoglobin
20.  Association of Educational Attainment With Chronic Disease and Mortality: The Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) 
Recent reports have suggested a close relationship between education and health, including mortality, in the United States.
Study Design
Observational cohort
Setting and Participants
We studied 61,457 participants enrolled in a national health screening initiative, the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP).
Self-reported educational attainment
Chronic diseases (hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, reduced kidney function, and albuminuria) and mortality
We evaluated the cross-sectional associations between self-reported educational attainment with the chronic diseases listed above using logistic regression models adjusted for demographics, access to care, behaviors, and co-morbidities. The association of educational attainment with survival was determined by multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression.
Higher educational attainment was associated with lower prevalence of each of the chronic conditions listed above. In multivariable models, compared with persons not completing high school, college graduates had a lower risk of each chronic condition, ranging from 11% lower odds of reduced kidney function to 37% lower odds of cardiovascular disease. Over a mean follow-up time of 3.9 years (median, 3.7 years), 2,384 (4%) deaths occurred. In the fully adjusted Cox model, those who had completed college had a 24% lower mortality, compared to participants who had completed at least some high school.
A lack of income data does not allow us to disentangle the independent effects of education from income.
In this diverse, contemporary cohort, higher educational attainment was independently associated with lower prevalence of chronic diseases and short-term mortality among all age and race/ethnicity groups.
PMCID: PMC3144262  PMID: 21601328
education; mortality; chronic kidney disease
21.  Diagnosis of cardiac disease in pediatric end-stage renal disease 
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation  2010;26(5):1640-1645.
Background. Cardiac disease is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in children with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). This study aimed to report the frequency of cardiac disease diagnostic methods used in US pediatric maintenance hemodialysis patients.
Methods. A cross-sectional analysis of all US pediatric (ages 0.7–18 years, n = 656) maintenance hemodialysis patients was performed using data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ESRD Clinical Performance Measures Project. Clinical and laboratory information was collected in 2001. Results were analysed by age, sex, race, Hispanic ethnicity, dialysis duration, body mass index (BMI), primary ESRD cause and laboratory data.
Results. Ninety-two percent of the patients had a cardiovascular risk factor (63% hypertension, 38% anemia, 11% BMI > 94th percentile, 63% serum phosphorus > 5.5 mg/dL and 55% calcium–phosphorus product ≥ 55 mg2/dL2). A diagnosis of cardiac disease was reported in 24% (n = 155) of all patients: left ventricular hypertrophy/enlargement 17%, congestive heart failure/pulmonary edema 8%, cardiomyopathy 2% and decreased left ventricular function 2%. Thirty-one percent of patients were not tested. Of those tested, the diagnostic methods used were chest X-rays in 60%, echocardiograms in 35% and electrocardiograms in 33%; left ventricular hypertrophy/enlargement was diagnosed using echocardiogram (72%), chest X-ray (20%) and electrocardiogram (15%).
Conclusions. Although 92% of patients had cardiovascular risk factors, an echocardiography was performed in only one-third of the patients. Our study raises the question of why echocardiography, considered the gold standard for cardiac disease diagnosis, has been infrequently used in pediatric maintenance dialysis patients, a high-risk patient population.
PMCID: PMC3145383  PMID: 20861193
cardiac disease; end-stage renal disease; hypertension; maintenance hemodialysis; pediatric
22.  Comparison of the CKD Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) and Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study Equations: Risk Factors for and Complications of CKD and Mortality in the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) 
American Journal of Kidney Diseases  2011;57(3 Suppl 2):S9-16.
The National Kidney Foundation has recommended that the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) equation replace the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study equation. Before implementing this change in the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP), we compared characteristics of reclassified individuals and mortality risk predictions using the new equation.
Of 123,704 eligible KEEP participants, 116,321 with data available for this analysis were included. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was estimated using the MDRD Study (eGFRMDRD) and CKD-EPI (eGFRCKD-EPI) equations with creatinine level calibrated to standardized methods. Participants were characterized by eGFR category: >120, 90-119, 60-89, 45-59, 30-44, and <30 mL/min/1.73 m2. Clinical characteristics ascertained included age, race, sex, diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral vascular disease, and anemia. Mortality was determined over a median of 3.7 years of follow-up.
The prevalence of eGFRCKD-EPI <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 was 14.3% compared with 16.8% using eGFRMDRD. Using eGFRCKD-EPI, 20,355 participants (17.5%) were reclassified to higher eGFR categories, and 3,107 (2.7%), to lower categories. Participants reclassified upward were younger and less likely to have chronic conditions, with a lower risk of mortality. A total of 3,601 deaths (3.1%) were reported. Compared with participants classified to eGFR of 45-59 mL/min/1.73 m2 using both equations, those with eGFRCKD-EPI of 60-89 mL/min/1.73 m2 had a lower mortality incidence rate (6.4 [95% CI, 5.1-7.7] vs 18.5 [95% CI, 17.1-19.9]). Results were similar for all eGFR categories. Net reclassification improvement was 0.159 (P < 0.001).
The CKD-EPI equation reclassifies people at lower risk of CKD and death into higher eGFR categories, suggesting more accurate categorization. The CKD-EPI equation will be used to report eGFR in KEEP.
PMCID: PMC3298760  PMID: 21338849
Chronic kidney disease; glomerular filtration rate estimation; mortality; risk factors
23.  Comparison of CKD Awareness in a Screening Population Using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study and CKD Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) Equations 
Low awareness of chronic kidney disease (CKD) may reflect uncertainty about the accuracy or significance of a CKD diagnosis in individuals otherwise perceived to be low-risk. Whether reclassification of CKD severity using the CKD Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) equation to estimate glomerular filtration rate (GFR) modifies estimates of CKD awareness is unknown.
In this cross-sectional study, we used data collected from 2000 to 2009 for 26,213 participants in the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP), a community-based screening program, with CKD based on GFR estimated using the 4-variable Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study equation and measurement of albuminuria. We assessed CKD awareness after CKD stage was reclassified using the CKD-EPI equation.
Of 26,213 participants with CKD based on eGFRMDRD, 23,572 (90%) were also classified with CKD based on eGFRCKD-EPI. Based on eGFRMDRD, 9.5% of participants overall were aware of CKD, as were 4.9%, 6.3%, 9.2%, 41.9%, and 59.2% with Stages 1-5, respectively. Based on eGFRCKD-EPI, 10.0% of participants overall were aware of CKD, as were 5.1%, 6.6%, 10.0%, 39.3%, and 59.4% with Stages 1-5, respectively. Reclassification to a less advanced CKD stage with eGFRCKD-EPI was associated with lower odds for awareness (OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.50-0.67); reclassification to a more advanced stage was associated with higher odds for awareness (OR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.05-2.13) after adjustment for confounding factors. Of participants unaware of CKD, 10.6% were reclassified as not having CKD using eGFRCKD-EPI.
Using eGFRCKD-EPI led to a modest increase in overall awareness rates, primarily due to reclassification of low-risk unaware participants.
PMCID: PMC3075598  PMID: 21338846
awareness; chronic kidney disease; CKD-EPI; estimated glomerular filtration rate
24.  Comparison of the CKD Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) and Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study Equations: Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Diabetes Mellitus in CKD in the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) 
Diabetes is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Whether reclassification of CKD stages based on glomerular filtration rate estimated using the CKD Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) equation versus the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study equation modifies estimates of prevalent risk factors across stages is unknown.
This is a cross-sectional analysis of data from the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP), a community-based health screening program targeting individuals 18 years and older with diabetes, hypertension, or a family history of diabetes, hypertension, or kidney disease. Of 109,055 participants, 68.2% were women and 31.8% were African American. Mean age was 55.3 ± 0.05 years. Clinical, demographic, and laboratory data were collected from August 2000 through December 2009. Glomerular filtration rate was estimated using the CKD-EPI and MDRD Study equations.
CKD was present in 25.6% and 23.5% of the study population using the MDRD Study and CKD-EPI equations, respectively. Diabetes was present in 42.4% and 43.8% of participants with CKD, respectively. Prevalent risk factors for diabetes included obesity (body mass index >30 kg/m2), 44.0%; hypertension, 80.5%; cardiovascular disease, 23.2%; family history of diabetes, 55.9%; and dyslipidemia, 43.0%. In a logistic regression model after adjusting for age and other risk factors, odds for diabetes increased significantly compared with no CKD with each CKD stage based on the CKD-EPI equation and similarly with stages based on the MDRD Study equation. Using a CKD-EPI–adjusted model, ORs were: stage 1, 2.08 (95% CI, 1.90–2.27); stage 2, 1.86 (95% CI, 1.72–2.02); stage 3, 1.23 (95% CI, 1.17–1.30); stage 4, 1.69 (95% CI, 1.42–2.03); and stage 5, 2.46 (95% CI, 1.46–4.14).
Using the CKD-EPI equation led to a lower prevalence of CKD but to similar diabetes prevalence rates associated with CKD across all stages compared with the MDRD Study equation. Diabetes and other CKD risk factor prevalence was increased compared with the non-CKD population.
PMCID: PMC3237700  PMID: 21338847
Chronic kidney disease; diabetes mellitus; estimated glomerular filtration rate
25.  Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Alone in the Absence of Subsequent Diabetes Is Associated With Microalbuminuria 
Diabetes Care  2010;33(12):2586-2591.
Women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) maintain a higher risk for recurrent GDM and overt diabetes. Overt diabetes is a risk factor for development of chronic kidney disease (CKD), but GDM alone, without subsequent development of overt diabetes, may also pose a risk for CKD.
This cross-sectional analysis included Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) participants from 2000 to 2009. Patient characteristics and kidney function among three categories (GDM alone, overt diabetes, and no history of diabetes) were compared. The prevalence of microalbuminuria, macroalbuminuria, and CKD stages 1–2 and 3–5 was assessed using logistic regression.
Of 37,716 KEEP female participants, 571 (1.5%) had GDM alone and 12,100 (32.1%) had overt diabetes. Women with GDM had a higher rate of microalbuminuria but not macroalbuminuria than their nondiabetic peers (10.0 vs. 7.7%) that was substantially lower than the 13.6% prevalence in diabetic women. In multivariate analysis, women with GDM alone, compared with nondiabetic women, demonstrated increased odds of CKD stages 1–2 (multivariate odds ratio 1.54 [95% CI 1.16–2.05]) similar to the odds for women with overt diabetes (1.68 [1.55–1.82]). In stratified analyses, age, race, BMI, and hypertension modified the odds for CKD stages 1 –2 but not CKD stages 3–5 among women with GDM.
Women with GDM alone have a higher prevalence of microalbuminuria than women without any history of diabetes, translating to higher rates of CKD stages 1–2. These results suggest that GDM, even in the absence of subsequent overt diabetes, may increase the risk for future cardiovascular and kidney disease.
PMCID: PMC2992195  PMID: 20807871

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