Renal Data Studies
In the summer of 1999, the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundations (MMRF) Nephrology Analytical Services (NAS) was awarded two contracts, totaling more than $6.8 million to serve as the Coordinating Center and the Cardiovascular Disease Special Studies Center for the United States Renal Data System (USRDS).
The USRDS is the most comprehensive database in the world for End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), commonly known as chronic kidney failure. The USRDS collects, analyzes, and distributes information about the incidence, prevalence, treatment, morbidity, and mortality associated with ESRD in the U.S. The USRDS is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with supplementary funding from the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA).
The Coordinating Center is responsible for reporting to the NIH, HCFA and Congress the overall incidence, prevalence, hospitalization rates, transplantation rates, and costs associated with ESRD. The Principal Investigator for the USRDS Coordinating Center is MMRF researcher Allan J. Collins, M.D. "We have been able to put together a team with experience in the critical areas of evidence-based medicine," said Dr. Collins. "Our plans are to build upon existing USRDS capabilities, which will allow us to better identify areas of concern and improve the health and welfare of ESRD patients."
Heart disease is the predominant cause of death in patients with ESRD. The Special Studies Center for Cardiovascular Disease, under the leadership of Charles Herzog, M.D., will study the relationship between heart disease and ESRD and the effectiveness, costs, and benefits of different current treatments. "Well be looking at trends and patterns in the USRDS data," said Dr. Herzog. "which gives us an idea of what areas we need to study further."
ESRD is a major public health problem in this country. Approximately 300,000 Americans have ESRD and this number increases by about seven percent each year. In 1994, the Centers for Disease Control estimated total costs of ESRD to be around $11 billion in the United States. MMRF researchers will continue, through USRDS and the Special Studies Center for Cardiovascular Disease, to advance ESRD knowledge in an effort to decrease the staggering costs of this deadly disease.
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