Study Examines Whether Nephrology Care before ESRD Develops Can Help Patients Keep Their Jobs
New York—Wednesday, September 13, 2017– Nephrologist Kevin Erickson, MD, MS, has been awarded the 2017 Southeast Texas Young Investigator Research Grant by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) to study whether receiving regular kidney specialist (nephrology) care prior to developing end-stage renal disease (ESRD) helps patients remain employed after their kidneys fail.
"I am thrilled that NKF has provided me with this opportunity to conduct research that will improve the lives of patients with kidney disease,” said Dr. Erickson, Assistant Professor, Medicine-Nephrology, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.
He received the grant as part of the NKF Young Investigator Research Grant Program, which strives to improve the quality of life for those with kidney disease by funding promising young scientists in their research to discover the causes of kidney disease, how to prevent its progression and ways to improve treatment for those living with it today. As background, Dr. Erickson’s study points out that approximately 10 percent of adults in the United States have chronic kidney disease and are at risk for ESRD, which requires lifelong dialysis treatment or kidney transplantation just to stay alive. The study also states that of the nearly 500,000 patients with ESRD who receive dialysis, 20 percent of them live in California or Texas.
“Many patients are unable to continue working after they initiate dialysis, which can lead to a reduced sense of wellbeing, poorer quality of life, and increased state and federal expenditures,“ Dr. Erickson said.
The aim of Dr. Erickson’s research is to determine whether access to consistent nephrology care before ESRD develops will help patients keep their jobs after kidney failure. He will examine this issue among patients initiating dialysis across the United States and among socioeconomically disadvantaged populations who have Medicaid in California and Texas.
“This research will improve patients’ quality of life by informing policies and educational programs for patients as they transition to dialysis,” Dr. Erickson said, adding that findings from this study will inform cost-effective and cost-saving policies designed to improve access to pre-ESRD care. Our NKF Young Investigator Research Program exists to help Dr. Erickson and other pioneering researchers reach such potentially groundbreaking results.
“It’s critical that we stay on the front lines of clinical science that discovers better ways to treat and fight kidney disease,” said Kevin Longino, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation and a kidney transplant recipient. “It’s our responsibility and privilege to support researchers whose cutting-edge work can lead to real breakthroughs for each one of the millions of kidney patients like me.”
The NKF Young Investigator Grants are awarded for one-year terms. They are given based upon careful and balanced peer review by an independent committee, with an emphasis on the support of high-quality, clinical investigation.
Kidney Disease Facts
30 million American adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it. 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history of kidney failure. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end-stage renal disease (kidney failure).
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org.