Epidemiology and Registry work on Kidney Disease
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is the asymptomatic forerunner to more advanced renal failure which often requires dialysis or a kidney transplant. In the last 5-10 years CKD has assumed greater importance in public health terms as it has been recognised that 5-10% of the general population have the earliest signs of CKD. This figure is set to rise with aging, diabetes and obesity related demographic changes. As an example of the approaches to this problem, General Practitioners in the UK are now incentivised for detecting and managing CKD particularly in patients with diabetes. Our research has highlighted substantial variation in the detection of early diabetic kidney disease by general practitioners despite these incentives operating for 5 years. This health services work is expanding into the area of improving health by informing general practitioners (and the public) of the benefits of screening for early kidney disease particularly in diabetes. Additional work is exploring the links between social deprivation including birthweight and the risks of CKD by linkages with the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study and Child Health Study.