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1.  Healthy Behaviors, Risk Factor Control and Awareness of Chronic Kidney Disease 
American journal of nephrology  2013;37(2):135-143.
The association between chronic kidney disease (CKD) awareness and healthy behaviors is unknown. We examined whether CKD self-recognition is associated with healthy behaviors and achieving risk-reduction targets known to decrease risk of cardiovascular morbidity and CKD progression.
CKD awareness, defined as a “yes” response to “Has a doctor or other health professional ever told you that you had kidney disease?”, was examined among adults with CKD (eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2) who participated in the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke study. Odds of participation in healthy behaviors (tobacco avoidance, avoidance of regular NSAID use, physical activity) and achievement of risk reduction targets (ACEI/ARB use, systolic blood pressure (SBP) control and glycemic control among those with diabetes) among those aware vs. unaware of their CKD were determined by logistic regression, controlling for socio-demographics, access to care and co-morbid conditions. SBP control was defined as < 130 mmHg (primary definition) or < 140 mmHg (secondary definition).
Of 2,615 participants, only 6% (n=166) were aware of having CKD. Those who were aware had 82% higher odds of tobacco avoidance compared to those unaware [adjusted odds ratio =1.82, 95% CI (1.02–3.24)]. CKD awareness was not associated other healthy behaviors or achievement of risk-reduction targets.
Awareness of CKD was only associated with participation in one healthy behavior and was not associated with achievement of risk-reduction targets. To encourage adoption of healthy behaviors, a better understanding of barriers to participation in CKD-healthy behaviors is needed. Keywords: chronic kidney disease, awareness, behaviors, self-management
PMCID: PMC3649001  PMID: 23392070
Chronic kidney disease; awareness; self-management; behaviors
2.  Poverty and Racial Disparities in Kidney Disease: The REGARDS Study 
American Journal of Nephrology  2010;32(1):38-46.
There are pronounced disparities among black compared to white Americans for risk of end-stage renal disease. This study examines whether similar relationships exist between poverty and racial disparities in chronic kidney disease (CKD) prevalence.
We studied 22,538 participants in the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort study. We defined individual poverty as family income below USD 15,000 and a neighborhood as poor if 25% or more of the households were below the federal poverty level.
As the estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) declined from 50–59 to 10–19 ml/min/ 1.73 m2, the black:white odds ratio (OR) for impaired kidney function increased from 0.74 (95% CI 0.66, 0.84) to 2.96 (95% CI 1.96, 5.57). Controlling for individual income below poverty, community poverty, demographic and comorbid characteristics attenuated the black:white prevalence to an OR of 0.65 (95% CI 0.57, 0.74) among individuals with a GFR of 59–50 ml/min/1.73 m2 and an OR of 2.21 (95% CI 1.25, 3.93) among individuals with a GFR between 10 and 19 ml/min/ 1.73 m2.
Household, but not community poverty, was independently associated with CKD and attenuated but did not fully account for differences in CKD prevalence between whites and blacks.
PMCID: PMC2914392  PMID: 20516678
Chronic kidney disease; Poverty; Racial disparities
3.  Physical and Psychological Burden of Chronic Kidney Disease among Older Adults 
American Journal of Nephrology  2010;31(4):309-317.
The purpose of the study is to determine if functional status and quality of life (QoL) vary with glomerular filtration rate (GFR) among older adults.
We studied adults aged 45 years and older participating in the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort study. Data included demographic and health information, serum creatinine and hemoglobin, the 4-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D-4), the 4-item Cohen's Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-4), reported health status and inactivity and the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-12 (SF-12) QoL scores.
CKD (GFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2) was present in 11.6% of the subjects. As GFR declined, the SF-12 physical component score, adjusted for other participant attributes, declined from 38.9 to 35.9 (p = 0.0001). After adjustment for other risk factors, poorer personal health scores (p < 0.0001) and decreased physical activity (p < 0.0001) were reported as GFR declined. In contrast, after adjusting for other participant characteristics, depression scores and stress scores and the mental component score of the SF-12 were not associated with kidney function.
Older individuals with CKD in the US population experience an increased prevalence of impaired QoL that cannot be fully explained by other individual characteristics.
PMCID: PMC2859227  PMID: 20164652
Functional status; Quality of life; Chronic kidney disease; End-stage renal disease; Glomerular filtration rate; REGARDS cohort study; Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-12
4.  Effect of Community Characteristics on Familial Clustering of End-Stage Renal Disease 
American Journal of Nephrology  2009;30(6):499-504.
Lower socioeconomic status is generally associated with an increased risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The relationship between community characteristics reflecting socioeconomic status and familial aggregation of common forms of ESRD has not been studied.
Demographic data and family history of ESRD were collected from 23,880 incident dialysis patients in ESRD Network 6 between 1995 and 2003. Addresses were geocoded and linked to the 2000 census 5-digit zip code-level database that includes community demographic, social and economic characteristics. Clustering of patients having a family history of ESRD at the community level was accounted for using a generalized estimating equations (GEE) model. Multivariate analysis estimated associations between family history of ESRD and community-level characteristics.
Twenty-three percent of patients reported a family history of ESRD. After adjusting for individual demographic characteristics, multivariate analyses failed to reveal statistically significant relationships between a family history of ESRD and indicators of community socioeconomic status such as median household income, percentage high school graduates, percentage vacant housing units or ethnic composition.
Although select community measures of lower socioeconomic status may contribute to the familial clustering of ESRD, non-socioeconomic factors, potentially inherited, appear to be more important contributors to familial aggregation of the common forms of ESRD.
PMCID: PMC2853588  PMID: 19797894
End-stage renal disease; Environment/neighborhood; Familial aggregation; Geocode; Socioeconomic status
5.  Chronic Kidney Disease Is Often Unrecognized among Patients with Coronary Heart Disease: The REGARDS Cohort Study 
American Journal of Nephrology  2008;29(1):10-17.
Individuals with kidney disease are at increased risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) and CHD is associated with an increased prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Awareness of CKD may potentially influence diagnostic decisions, life-style changes and pharmacologic interventions targeted at modifiable CHD risk factors. We describe here the degree to which persons with CHD are aware of their CKD.
The Reasons for Geographical and Racial Difference in Stroke (REGARDS) cohort study, a population-based sample of US residents aged 45 and older. We included in our analyses 28,112 REGARDS participants recruited as of June 2007. We estimated GFR (eGFR) using the MDRD equation, defined CKD as a GFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2, and ascertained awareness of chronic kidney disease and coronary heart disease through self-report. We used the odds ratio to compare the association between awareness of kidney disease, as measured by GFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2, among individuals with and without self-reported CHD by both the presence of CKD and the severity of impaired kidney function.
Coronary heart disease was reported by 3,803 (14.1%) of subjects, and 11.3% of subjects had CKD by eGFR. Among all individuals with a GFR <60 ml/min/ 1.73 m2, 9.6% reported having been told by a physician that they had kidney disease. Among those with CHD and CKD, 5.0% were aware of their CKD compared to 2.0% in those without CHD [OR (95% CI) = 2.57 (2.08, 3.28)]. This difference persisted after controlling for the level of kidney function [aOR (95% CI) = 1.87 (1.43, 2.41)].
There was a high prevalence of CKD and a low prevalence of awareness of kidney disease among older adults in the US population with or without coronary heart disease. These findings support recent recommendations that patients with cardiovascular disease be systematically screened for and educated about CKD.
PMCID: PMC2786017  PMID: 18663284
Screening; Cardiovascular disease; Chronic kidney disease

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