Spring/Summer 2023

Research highlights from the BC Renal network

Large study confirms SGLT2 inhibitor drugs are beneficial for kidney patients

Nearly a decade ago, preliminary evidence began to emerge suggesting that a new class of drugs created for people who have diabetes may also be beneficial for people with kidney disease who don’t have diabetes. Now, the results of a number of large, randomized trials – including the most recent EMPA-KIDNEY trial – have confirmed that sodium-glucose transport 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors can slow the progression of kidney disease, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular death in this latter population.

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SGLT2 inhibitor drugs expected to reduce need for dialysis and related health-care costs

A recent study in the Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease suggests a class of drugs called SGLT2 inhibitors would offer significant health improvements for BC kidney patients and would also lower related heath-care costs substantially for the province. The results helped prompt the BC Ministry of Health to fund the medications, which have been proven to reduce kidney patients’ risk of dialysis and death, for eligible patients in the province.

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A small subset of GN patients shows mild and manageable disease flares after vaccination

A small percentage of people living with glomerular disease may experience mild disease flares after COVID-19 vaccines, according to a new study. Fortunately, these flares are rare overall and don’t typically require intensive treatment – suggesting that these patients may just need a bit of extra monitoring by their doctors after vaccination. Importantly, the data suggest that the risks of COVID infection still outweigh the risks of vaccination.

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Program that support patients in receiving dialysis at home proves successful

In 2016, BC Renal created a program to support kidney patients who have difficulty completing peritoneal dialysis (PD) independently, whereby trained professionals help patients complete PD in their own homes. A study evaluating the PD Assist Program over the past five years shows that it prolongs some patients’ duration on their preferred dialysis modality. As a result, patients are able to enjoy a better quality of life. The study was published earlier this year in Peritoneal Dialysis International.

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New tools help hemodialysis patients understand which medications can be stopped safely

Many kidney patients express concern about stopping medications, also known as deprescribing, when they don’t understand the reasons. To help provide clarity, a nation-wide research team created a suite of educational tools to help patients stop taking certain medications, which they validated in a study published earlier this year in the Canadian Journal of Kidney Disease and Health.

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Study reveals ways to better support kidney patients in home blood pressure monitoring

Blood pressure monitoring and control is an important aspect of slowing the progression of kidney disease and protecting the heart. Blood pressure taken at home is more reliable than blood pressure checked in the doctor’s office. A recent study done among kidney care clinic patients and health-care providers reveals barriers – and also useful and practical ways to better support patients – in monitoring blood pressure at home.

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Research Profile: Malak Ghaddar

Every year in British Columbia, a handful of medical residents are selected as nephrology research fellows to be trained as the next generation of experts, expanding the frontiers of kidney research. This includes Malak Ghaddar, who attended medical school in her home country of Lebanon where she completed an internal medicine residency and general nephrology training. She then went on to do a one-year nephrology fellowship in Ottawa, and is now completing a two-year fellowship in Vancouver through July 2024.

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Last chance: Submit abstracts for BC Kidney Days e-posters by May 23!

BC Kidney Days 2023 will be "the" opportunity for our province’s kidney care community to connect and share knowledge and experiences this fall.

One way to “show what you know” is with conference e-posters, showcasing clinical research and quality improvement initiatives. The new deadline to submit an e-poster abstract is May 23.

Submit an abstract today! Learn more at Abstracts & E-Posters before filling in the Abstract Submission Form.


Recent publications by BC kidney researchers:

Did you know?
BC Renal has a research section on our website. Learn more: http://www.bcrenal.ca/research

Stay up-to-date on the latest edition of the ISN Global Kidney Atlas here.

Who We Are:
Kidney care professionals and patient partners across BC are engaged in a broad range of local, provincial and international research projects, many in collaboration with BC's educational and research institutions. Their work is frequently published in peer-reviewed journals.

Why We Do It:
● To facilitate/conduct quality research studies
● To support knowledge translation
● To foster local, national and international research collaborations
● To facilitate training and mentoring of young physicians and scientists

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We acknowledge with gratitude that our BC Renal offices are located on the traditional, unceded territory of the Coast Salish, home of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish peoples, as well as the Métis chartered communities of the Lower Mainland