K/DOQI Expands to Include Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease in Dialysis Patients

New York, NY (October 1, 2001) - The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) announced today the formation of a work group to develop clinical practice guidelines for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ACVD) in dialysis patients. These guidelines are the most recent addition to the NKF's Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI), a major effort to improve outcomes for individuals at all stages of kidney disease, from its earliest indications through the need for dialysis or transplantation.

"Despite the debilitating effects of chronic kidney disease, the leading cause of death in kidney disease patients continues to be cardiovascular disease," said William L. Henrich, MD, chairman of the department of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who will chair the work group.

"We will be looking at a number of risk factors for ACVD and their management," Dr. Henrich continued. "The work group will be studying the role of inflammation and vascular calcification, appropriate screening, the treatment of hypertension, dyslipidemias and anemia, and risk reduction strategies that are pharmacologic (such as anti-platelet drugs to reduce heart attack and stroke risk and vitamin therapy to reduce serum homocysteine) and non-pharmacologic (such as smoking cessation, diet and exercise). We will also examine issues concerning special population subgroups such as people with diabetes and post-menopausal women."

A multi-specialty, multi-disciplinary group of experts from the U.S., Canada and Europe is being assembled to study the issues and conduct the rigorous structured review of the literature that has become the hallmark of the K/DOQI initiative. The first work group meeting is scheduled for late November and the guidelines are expected to be published by mid-2003. Alfred Cheung, MD, professor of medicine, division of nephrology and hypertension, at the University of Utah School of Medicine and executive director, dialysis program, at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, will serve as vice chairman of the work group.

The primary sponsor of the ACVD guidelines is Satellite Healthcare of Redwood City, CA. Genzyme Corporation, of Cambridge, MA, is associate sponsor.

"NKF's partnership with Satellite and Genzyme will allow us to explore new ways to significantly improve outcomes for people with kidney failure," said Garabed Eknoyan, MD, K/DOQI co-chairman. "We appreciate their joining us in Making Lives Better through their support of the clinical practice guidelines development process."

The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.