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March is Kidney Health Month: Are You at Risk for Kidney Disease?

Take 10 Minutes to Find Out

March 13, 2014 – This March, Kidney Health Month, The Kidney Foundation of Canada is launching a free Online Risk Assessment tool for kidney disease at www.kidney.ca/risk and a new public service announcement (PSA) to help raise awareness. The PSA features Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, whose family has suffered from conditions that cause kidney disease.

“During the Kidney Foundation’s 50th anniversary year, we’re taking extra steps to empower individuals to actively engage in their kidney health care,” says Paul Shay, the charity’s National Executive Director. ”Thanks to celebrity spokesperson Alex Lifeson’s participation in a new public service announcement, we are able to help raise awareness of the risk factors for kidney disease. Canadians will also have a health information e-tool at their fingertips and a printed risk assessment they can share with their healthcare provider – crucial resources for their kidney health management.”

In many cases, kidney disease can be prevented or managed and kidney failure avoided. When kidney disease is inevitable, as is the case with some genetic forms, finding out early can make the difference between life and death.

Download the full press release (pdf)

 

Jarrett Osborne Creates Time-Sensitive Campaign to Support The Kidney Foundation

November 12, 2013 - Jarrett Osborne’s son was born with polycystic kidney disease on World Kidney Day 2012. Now, Jarrett is leading a fundraising campaign for a project he hopes will remedy his son and help others suffering from the same condition.

startsomegood.com/popremedy“I will be championing and supporting the efforts of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, The Kidney March, and World Kidney Day, through my comic strip and GIVING BACK the vast amount of profits from memberships, comic strip collections, and merchandise, “ says Jarrett Osborne, whose son Harrison suffers from autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease.

Currently, Osborne has 9 days left in a crowdsourcing campaign to raise $30,000 in a project he hopes will fund future research. To read more about his vision and project, visit: http://startsomegood.com/popremedy

Learn more about Jarrett’s story and that of his son, Harrison, in this Toronto Sun article: www.torontosun.com/2013/11/09/father-hopes-to-raise-money-for-kidney-disease-research-through-comics

Video interview link from 24 Hours Vancouver: http://video.vancouver.24hrs.ca/video/featured/latest/1842944082001/helping-kidney-disease-research-through-comics/2829357935001

Kidney Foundation Collaboration on Advocacy Leads to Throne Speech Commitment to Prevent Genetic Discrimination

October 18, 2013 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada is a member of the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness (CCGF), a group of 15 organizations dedicated to establishing protections against genetic discrimination for all Canadians. Great strides were seen when, in its October 16, 2013 Speech from the Throne, the Federal Government committed safeguarding families and communities by taking action to “prevent employers and insurance companies from discriminating against Canadians on the basis of genetic testing." (page 14 of the full speech).
 
“The recent commitment in the Federal Government’s Throne Speech, to prevent discrimination based on genetic testing, is a much-needed action step to reduce one of the many burdens felt by Canadians living with kidney disease,” says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.
 
The Kidney Foundation has been a member of The Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness, supporting representations to government since 2009. In 2013, we additionally developed insurance tips to help members of the kidney community access vital support.

For more information:

 

 
Recent study calls for evidence-based Canadian guidelines for CKD screening

May 2013 – A study recently published in Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) estimated the prevalence of kidney disease among Canadian adults at 12.5% for the period 2007-2009, representing about 3 million Canadian adults. As stated by the study authors, “A comprehensive, evidence-based Canadian guideline for screening adults for chronic kidney disease would be useful to optimize early intervention and secondary prevention of chronic kidney disease and its associated outcomes.”

The estimate was based on direct measure of kidney function collected from a Canadian-based nationally representative survey population. Study results also underscored that awareness of kidney dysfunction was low: only 5.3% of those with any stage of chronic kidney disease, and only 12.0% of those with stage 3–5 disease, reported ever having been told by a health professional that they had “kidney disease or dysfunction.”

The Kidney Foundation is currently working with researchers to explore how to support and facilitate the development of comprehensive Canadian guidelines for the screening of chronic kidney disease in adults.

Increasing public awareness and commitment to advancing kidney health is a key component of The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s mission. A survey conducted by Environics in 2009 found that more than half of those who responded thought that kidney disease was curable, which is not the case. Most people were not aware of the risk factors and 57% were not aware that kidney disease is related to illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure.

One of the ways that The Kidney Foundation strives to address the issues of early prevention, detection and disease awareness is through its SeeKD targeted screening.  In 2012, over 2,000 people were screened and counseled on ways to improve their health and prevent kidney disease.

Read the study in Canadian Medical Association Journal, “Prevalence estimates of chronic kidney disease in Canada: results of a nationally representative” http://www.cmaj.ca/content/early/2013/05/06/cmaj.120833.full.pdf+html?sid=6b8a1864-623b-4458-9b97-c4983f7fe7a8

CBC interview with Dr. Brian Goldman on the study and its implications:  http://www.cbc.ca/player/AudioMobile/Airplay/ID/2383687781/

To learn more about SeeKD, The Kidney Foundation’s targeted screening program: http://www.kidney.ca/page.aspx?pid=2136

Don Cherry Shows Support for Kidney Car Program on World Kidney Day

March 14, 2013 – Don Cherry, hockey legend and longtime host of CBC’s Coach’s Corner, is donating his 1997 Yukon to The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Kidney Car program on World Kidney Day. The program benefits are far reaching – and anyone can take advantage of them.

Don Cherry donates to Kidney CarThe Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Car program, which tows vehicles for free, provides a tax receipt to the donor and facilitates responsible vehicle recycling, resale or auction, raises nearly $2.5 million annually. The revenue from Kidney Car is invested in activities to help people living with kidney disease, such as peer support, innovative research and raising awareness of the importance of life-saving organ donation as a preferred treatment for kidney failure.

“My Dad is one of those people who falls in love with his vehicles. When it was time to give this one up he could think of no better ending to a vehicle that has served him, his son, daughter and grandson, well. He saw this as a great solution and a win-win situation. The Kidney Car Program is a triple win - hat trick - if you'd like, good for us, good for The Kidney Foundation and the people it helps, and of course, good for the environment,” says Cindy Cherry, who donated a kidney to her brother Tim when the dialysis he was having to treat acute kidney injury from a streptococcal infection was no longer enough to keep him alive.

March is Kidney Health Month in Canada and The Kidney Foundations’ Kidney Car program is an easy and excellent way of supporting the Foundation’s work. To take advantage of this service and receive a tax receipt for your donation, visit www.kidneycar.ca.

To learn more about becoming an organ donor,  visit www.kidney.ca/organ-donor-information.  

To download broadcast quality B-Roll related to this story please visit
http://cnw.pathfireondemand.com/viewpackage.action?packageid=696.

Download the full press release (pdf)

 

World Kidney Day 2013: STOP Kidney Attack!

Protect your kidneys, find out how

March 5, 2013 – World Kidney Day, March 14, occurs annually midway through Kidney Health Month (March) in Canada. This year, The Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFOC) is partnering with the Canadian Society of Nephrology (CSN) and the international community to raise awareness of the importance of preventing kidney damage, sudden or long-term, by distributing an information brochure to thousands of Canadians across the country. The brochure will also be available online at www.kidney.ca/2013WorldKidneyDay

This year’s World Kidney Day theme focuses on the importance of preventing kidney attacks or acute kidney injury (AKI). AKI is a sudden decrease in a person’s kidney function. It is most commonly due to low blood flow or poor oxygen delivery, and is often seen in hospital settings. It is estimated that 5-10% of critically ill patients who find themselves in intensive care units experience an attack that can have a long-term impact on their lives. Kidney attacks can also be the result of the use of prescription medications, particularly in the elderly, and can leave one at risk for chronic kidney disease. 

Craig Dunbar was fit and active when he experienced a kidney attack in 2007.  “I sprained my ankle while playing baseball and was given anti-inflammatory medications to help heal quickly. Then, suddenly, my body went into crisis.”  Craig later discovered he had a dormant kidney disease known as IgA nephropathy or Berger’s Disease. Drugs can affect kidney function especially after a sudden injury or if there is an unidentified predisposition. “In a matter of days, I was being treated for kidney failure with dialysis. My life has never returned to what it was before.” “Even if we can see only small changes in kidney function, these could set up the conditions for a perfect storm and predispose a person to more severe kidney damage later,” says    Dr. Michael Walsh, Assistant Professor, Departments of Medicine (Nephrology) and Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University. “Those with poor kidney function to begin with are at higher risk of acute kidney injury.” 

To learn more about activities and health screening events in your region, visit www.kidney.ca/2013WorldKidneyDay

Download the full press release (pdf)

 

 

Take down borders, for rare disorders

February 28, 2013 - Today is Rare Disease Day. There are over one hundred million people living with a rare disease around the world. The majority of rare diseases, such as Alport Syndrome and Fabry Disease, are genetic and over half of those affected are children. The Kidney Foundation funds vital research in these areas.

Fighting diseases which affect only a few people in each country and for which expertise is scarce and scattered requires cross-border cooperation, the theme of this year's Rare Disease Day. Reaching out across borders can help patients find support and common solutions, and advances in rare disease research have more chances of succeeding when researchers from different countries work together to understand the disease and find therapies. 

The Kidney Foundation of Canada recently helped fund the world's first gene therapy clinical trial for Fabry Disease, a rare genetic disease that often results in kidney failure. In association with the Alport Syndrome Foundation (ASF), The Kidney Foundation will also provide funding for research into Alport Syndrome, an inherited disorder that affects blood vessels in the kidneys. This latter funding program is open to all researchers regardless of geographical location.

For more information on the ASF MacQuarie KFOC Alport Syndrome Research Funding Program, visit: http://www.kidney.ca/page.aspx?pid=1037

For more information on Rare Disease Day events taking place in Canada, visit: http://www.rarediseaseday.org/country/ca/canada

 

International Research Survey Seeks Participants Living with Kidney Disease

January 9, 2013 - Kidney Health for Life (KH4L) is a new, international multi-stakeholder initiative whose goal is to work collaboratively with existing organisations and initiatives - at international and national level - to promote early detection and effective treatment of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in order to prevent or slow disease progression and improve patient health and quality of life. Through understanding and potentially helping to shape relevant health policies, practices and infrastructure, the group aims to facilitate the implementation of high standards of care for patients with Chronic Kidney Disease. They are currently conducting a international patient survey.
 
To take the survey, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Patients_Canada
 
Read more about this international initiative
View details on the project outline
 

The Kidney Foundation Launches Online Discussion Forums for Organ Donors and Recipients

December 6, 2012 – The Kidney Foundation of Canada expanded its online presence today with the launch of two new discussion forums on organ donation, For Donors Only (ForDonorsOnly.com) and For Recipients Only (ForRecipientsOnly.com) made possible through the collaboration of entrepreneur Lawrence I. Geller.

For people living with kidney failure, a kidney transplant often represents a gift of life, providing a significant improvement to their health and quality of life. Online discussion forums can help organ donors and recipients throughout the organ transplantation process by providing a private and unrestricted venue to exchange information on concerns and challenges experienced both before and after an organ transplant or donation.

“There is a real, expressed need to provide greater opportunities for individuals to exchange support and information relating to organ donation and transplantation. Online discussion forums help address the need, allowing people to communicate with one another, regardless of time or distance,” said Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

ForDonorsOnly.com and ForRecipientsOnly.com were made possible through a unique and innovative alliance with an entrepreneur and kidney transplant recipient, Mr. Lawrence Geller.  “The Kidney Foundation and I share a common interest in promoting organ donation and in making sure that community needs are met, so I am very pleased to help lead the development of these discussion forums,” said Mr. Geller. The Kidney Foundation of Canada and Mr. Geller will collaboratively manage both online discussion forums.

This initiative is the first phase in the development of a branded, private social network that will complement The Kidney Foundation's KIDNEY CONNECT Peer Support program (kidney.ca/kidneyconnect), a help line which matches people living with kidney disease with volunteers willing to share their own experiences.

For more information about the discussion forums visit www.kidney.ca/forums.

Download the full press release (pdf)

Canadians Can Now Self-Identify as Organ Donors on Facebook

Sept. 18, 2012 - Facebook Canada announced the launch of a new tool allowing Canadians to display that they are organ donors.

The new organ donation tool allows Canadians to add their organ donor status to their timeline and share the reason for their choice with their friends and family. Organ donors still need to register with their provincial organ registry to confirm their decision: a link to organ donor registries across Canada is provided with the new tool.

Since Facebook launched its organ donation tool in May in the United States and the United Kingdom, it has spread to a dozen countries and acquired more than 275,000 registrants, according to Facebook Canada managing director Jordan Banks.

Canadian double-lung transplant recipient, Helene Campbell sees Facebook as the perfect platform to raise awareness for the cause. Those who register their willingness to donate their organs with Facebook will, she said, give hope to thousands of Canadians waiting for a life-saving transplant. Campbell used various social media, including Twitter, Facebook and her own website, to drawn attention to her situation.

How to share you are an organ donor on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=338196302902319#How-do-I-share-that-I%E2%80%99m-an-organ-donor-on-Facebook?

For more information on organ donation in Canada: www.kidney.ca/organ-donation

More info:

CBC "The Current" (audio feed)

MacLean's: Can Facebook really solve the organ donor crisis?

Globe and Mail: Facebook, Double Lung Transplant Recipient Make Push for Organ Donors

Ottawa Citizen: Ottawa transplant recipient Hélène Campbell now has Facebook behind her organ donor campaign

The Star: Facebook adds organ donor status to timeline



Diabetes patients and GPs don’t agree on most worrisome complications of condition

National survey reveals disconnect between what Type 2 diabetes patients believe and what doctors are telling them

August 28, 2012 —Warnings about the severity of some complications associated with Type 2 diabetes may not be getting through to Canada’s diabetes patients, according to findings from a national survey.

While heart disease and declining kidney function top the list of Type 2 diabetes complications that general practitioners say they are most concerned about (96 per cent and 84 per cent respectively), blindness and amputation are patients’ top worries (60 per cent and 50 per cent respectively). When asked which body part will be most impacted by Type 2 diabetes, patients selected feet and eyes ahead of major organs like the heart and kidneys.

“These statistics are quite concerning,” says says Dr. Richard Tytus, family physician and associate clinical professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, who contributed to the design of the survey. “Patients are underestimating the life-threatening impact of heart or kidney complications and focusing more on less fatal complications.  The reality is that you won’t need to worry about being blind if your heart stops beating or your kidneys shut down.”

In Canada, almost three million people have diabetes, and 90 per cent of these have Type 2.  Type 2 diabetes is a serious, chronic illness that can be difficult to manage because of its complexity. Fifty per cent of people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have chronic kidney disease, and 67 per cent of patients with Type 2 diabetes have at least one specific risk factor for declining renal function. All individuals with chronic kidney disease should be considered at high risk for cardiovascular events.

Kidney Complications a Particular Concern for Physicians

According to the national survey, less than half of Type 2 diabetes patients (44 per cent) say they are worried about declining kidney function and 47 per cent don’t even consider themselves to be at high risk of developing kidney disease because of their diabetes.  Dr. Tytus notes that these statistics are particularly concerning, given that chronic kidney disease associated with diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in Canada.

“High blood glucose causes damage to the delicate blood vessels in the filters of the kidneys, and as the diabetes progresses, these filters can become so damaged that the kidneys fail,” says Dr. Tytus.  “Diabetes patients don’t appear to be concerned about this, but they should be.”
 
Nadine Valk, National Director of Programs and Public Policy with The Kidney Foundation of Canada, which also contributed to the survey design, agrees.  “Many people with diabetes could have serious kidney damage without being aware of it. Signs of early kidney damage can develop in 50 per cent or more of people with diabetes.  The challenge is that there are usually no specific symptoms of kidney disease until the damage is severe.”

Patients Are Not Always Hearing What Physicians Tell Them

While almost eight in 10 (77 per cent) of family physicians surveyed say they have talked to their diabetes patients about kidney function, only half of patients (52 per cent) report having had these conversations with their physician.  Additionally, 56 per cent of patients say that their physician has not told them that their kidney health is at risk from their Type 2 diabetes at all.

“We need to redouble our efforts to help our patients understand the complexity of diabetes and its impact on kidney function,” says Dr. Tytus. “It’s not a simple discussion to have, but an important one. We also need to find ways to simplify treatment, which can also be complex.”   

An additional challenge for physicians, he says, is that most anti-diabetic treatments have prescribing limitations due to the fact that they are passed through the kidneys.  As kidney function declines, some patients may need to adjust the dose of their medication or stop taking it altogether, if it is cleared through the kidneys, to prevent accumulation of drug in their bodies.  Many of the most commonly used oral medications that help control blood sugar levels are either not indicated for use in patients with compromised renal function, or must be adjusted carefully as a patient’s renal function declines.

“Working closely with their physician, patients can optimize treatment outcomes and hopefully delay damage to their kidneys,” says Ms. Valk.  “It’s important  that diabetes patients follow a healthy lifestyle, have their urine, blood and blood pressure checked regularly, and ask their doctor about any new developments in the treatment of diabetes.”

Additional Survey Findings

  • Overall, physicians are much more concerned about the complications of Type 2 diabetes than patients.

  • British Columbia diabetes patients are the most likely to “get it right” by naming the same complications as the physicians as top concerns.

  • Patients in the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic provinces are much more concerned about blindness as a complication of their disease than patients in British Columbia.

  • Patients in Atlantic Canada are more likely to be concerned about amputation as a complication of diabetes than most other provinces.

  • Patients in British Columbia and Ontario are much more concerned about heart disease as a complication of diabetes, than patients in all other provinces.

  • Erectile dysfunction as a complication of diabetes is more concerning to patients in the Prairies and Quebec than in British Columbia or Ontario.


About the National Survey
The national survey was conducted by Vision Critical in partnership with The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. and Eli Lilly Canada.  The research was conducted online from December 20, 2011 to January 13, 2012. The sample included both Canadian GPs and adult diabetes sufferers. A total of 760 adult diabetes sufferers were recruited via the Angus Reid Forum, according to Statistics Canada’s most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a representative sample of the entire adult population of Canada. A total of 301 physicians were recruited to be representative of the regional distribution of GPs. Statistical testing has been conducted at the 95 per cent Confidence Level.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Michelle MacLeod
Hill + Knowlton Strategies
416-413-4744
michelle.macleod@hkstrategies.ca

Sommer Ellis
Hill + Knowlton Strategies
416-413-4756
sommer.ellis@hkstrategies.ca

Blueprint for a National, Integrated Organs and Tissues System Released

Call to Action recommends fundamental system change for Canadians

June 20, 2012 (Ottawa) – Canadian Blood Services today released Call to Action, a blueprint for the national strategy on organ and tissue donation and transplantation developed on behalf of the OTDT community in Canada. Call to Action is an integrated, cost-shared plan that identifies gaps in the current Canadian system and provides a set of 25 recommendations focused on sustained, breakthrough performance in this country.

Click here to access the Canadian Blood Services report Call to Action

In 2008, the federal, provincial and territorial ministries of health (except Québec) recognized the need for a national strategy to address the problems with organ and tissue donation and transplantation (OTDT) in Canada, and directed Canadian Blood Services to work with the OTDT community to develop a plan that better serves Canadian patients and significantly improves on past performance. After extensive  consultations, Call to Action was submitted to governments in April 2011.

At the report’s core are strategies that help provinces achieve together what they cannot achieve alone, including key recommendations that experts say will lead to breakthrough performance. Critical gains in accountability, reduction in transplant wait times, and better patient outcomes with more lives saved and/or improved are some of the benefits Canadians can expect from a new system.

“Governments are continuing their leadership with an ongoing commitment to work together to solve the problems with the OTDT system,” said Canadian Blood Services Chair Leah Hollins. “The integrated, national strategy laid out in Call to Action is well aligned with the vision the country’s premiers and other healthcare leaders have been discussing and acting on since the Council of Federation meeting in Victoria earlier this year. Call to Action recommendations highlight how a national system will not only save and improve more lives, but also provide more value for precious healthcare dollars.”

”Governments have already seen the immediate benefits of cross-jurisdictional integration over the past four years since asking Canadian Blood Services to implement change, not just make recommendations,” said Dr. Graham Sher, Canadian Blood Services Chief Executive Officer. “Call to Action is the voice of the OTDT community in Canada. It is a strategy that leverages existing successes, strengths, and investments in the system, and paves the way for the collaboration, coordination, and clear accountability needed for Canada to truly reach its potential.”

For the past year, Canadian Blood Services has been assisting governments as they review Call to Action recommendations and determine what they could mean for provincial health care systems. Having completed this first stage of analysis, governments have asked Canadian Blood Services to develop detailed implementation plans for consideration of a phased approach – one that reflects the unique jurisdictional requirements and fiscal challenges of individual provinces. These plans will be developed with governments over the coming months.

To view the report, visit www.blood.ca or www.organsandtissues.ca or click on the link below:
http://www.organsandtissues.ca/s/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/OTDT-INDX-final-C2A.pdf

About Canadian Blood Services
Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the supply of blood and blood products in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec. Canadian Blood Services also oversees the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network, and provides national leadership for organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Canadian Blood Services operates 42 permanent collection sites and more than 20,000 donor clinics annually. The provincial and territorial Ministries of Health provide operational funding to Canadian Blood Services. The federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system.

Follow us on Twitter @itsinyoutogive, visit our official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CanadianBloodServices and see our YouTube channel at 18882DONATE.

– 30 –

Media Contact:
Janet Wong
Canadian Blood Services
Cell: 416-420-0199
Ph: 416-313-4410
Email: janet.wong@blood.ca

Five Canadians Awarded for Raising Awareness About Kidney Disease

May 2, 2012 — The Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFOC) is proud to announce the winners of the fourth edition of the Kidney Stories of Hope campaign. Throughout the month of March, Kidney Health Month, participants entered the contest, giving the jury of Kidney Foundation volunteers and employees the difficult yet rewarding task of selecting five regional winners.

The wide range of incredibly inspiring stories, submitted from coast to coast, detail the challenges of living with kidney disease, applaud the support of loved ones, and radiate hope. “Our panel had a tough time choosing the winners,” said Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “We hope that people who read these stories will be inspired and find the strength needed to cope with the challenges of living with kidney disease.”

Most people have never heard of kidney disease until it affects them, or someone they care about. Currently, more than 39,000 Canadians are being treated for kidney failure. “That is why the Kidney Stories of Hope campaign is so important,” says Shay. “By asking people to share their stories, photos and videos on the internet, it gives them the forum to share this information with others who may be in the same situation.”

The jury awarded five regional winners (British Columbia, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada) with the Shire Inspira Award for most inspirational story. Each regional winner received $500, courtesy of Shire Canada.

This year’s Kidney Stories of Hope Shire Inspira awardees are:

1. Todd K. Reid, Cloverdale, BC
2. Lauren Herschel, Calgary, AB (Prairies awardee)
3. Sharron Shepstone, Peterborough, ON
4. Mia Borelli, Montreal, QC
5. Judith Caissie, Moncton, NB (Atlantic awardee)

New this year, a non-monetary “Outstanding Contribution” prize has been awarded to the participant who went out of his or her way to both share a story and use it to raise the most funds possible in support of The Kidney Foundation’s mission! Congratulations to top fundraiser Mélanie Charbonneau of Montreal, who wins an iPod Touch. Melanie’s supporters contributed $380 through Stories of Hope. Together, participants raised a total of $2,345. 

Congratulations to all of this year’s participants and winners. People are invited to read Kidney Stories of Hope entries by visiting: www.kidney.ca/storiesofhope

Download the full press release (pdf)

 

 

Kidney Foundation Organizes World Kidney Day Event on Parliament Hill

March 8, 2012 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada staff, nephrologists from the Ottawa area and kidney transplant recipients took to Parliament Hill on World Kidney Day (WKD) 2012.

MPs and Senators were invited to this Kidney Foundation event highlighting the need for additional support of organ donation and transplantation (WKD 2012 themes). Among the many who attended were Joy Smith, MP for Kildonan-St. Paul. 

Ms. Smith, Chair of the Standing Committee on Health, agreed that increasing organ donation rates by Canadians was critical to reducing the numbers of patients waiting for organ transplantations. Mark Adler, MP for York Centre echoed these comments and pledged his support for The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s advocacy efforts in the coming year.

Group photo

Left to right: Linda Vassal, Consultant, Sun Life; Dr. Deborah Zimmerman, Nephrologist, The Ottawa Hospital; Craig Dunbar, Coordinator, The Kidney Foundation of Canada – Eastern Ontario Office (KFOC-EOC); Dr. Jolanta Karpinski, Nephrologist, The Ottawa Hospital; Patricia Treusch, volunteer, KFOC-EOC, Francois-René Dussault, Committee Member, KFOC-EOC; Nadine Valk, National Director, Programs & Public Policy, KFOC; Senator Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate; Megan Leslie, MP, Halifax; Ez Valiquette (transplant recipient).

Nadine Valk, Michael Chong MP, Bruce Hill, Joe CoMartin MP

Left to right: Nadine Valk; Michael Chong, MP, Wellington-Halton Hills; Bruce Hill, Manager, KFOC-EOC; Joe Comartin, MP, Windsor-Tecumseh.


BestLifeRewarded to Promote Awareness of Kidney Disease

March 8, 2012 - BestLifeRewarded® and The Kidney Foundation of Canada are pleased to announce their collaboration to raise awareness of kidney disease and what can be done to improve both early detection and prevention.

“We are pleased to partner with BestLifeRewarded to offer incentives to Canadians for learning about kidney disease and for taking control of their health,” said Nadine Valk, National Director of Programs and Public Policy of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “March is Kidney Health Month in Canada and the ideal time to remind individuals of how they can actively participate in managing their kidney health. BestLifeRewarded.com will support our efforts to drive up awareness of these important issues.”

Free to all Canadians, BestLifeRewarded is the first of its kind health loyalty program offering healthy incentives for people for learning about and tracking healthy behaviours. BestLifeRewarded is a hub of credible health information in partnership with many national not for profit groups and coordinating Canadian health information in a way that is meaningful for the user.  

Visit www.BestLifeRewarded.com today to learn more about kidney disease, complete risk assessments and earn healthy rewards for a healthier you.

Download the press release (pdf)

 

Kidney Health Month launched with Kidney Stories of Hope Campaign

February 27, 2012 — An estimated 2.6 million Canadians have kidney disease or are at risk of developing it. Moreover, nearly 40,000 people are treated for kidney failure with dialysis or kidney transplants.  Since 1990, this number has more than tripled, and the individual burden on patients and their loved ones remains high.

“Kidney disease, particularly toward the end stage, is a huge burden, and many people suffer in silence,” says Paul Shay, national executive director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFOC). “This is why we created the Kidney Stories of Hope campaign.” Canadians are invited to share their inspiring stories about how they have dealt with the challenges of living with kidney disease or about someone they know who has risen to the challenge. “It is our hope,” adds Mr. Shay, “that through these stories, others will find the strength and inspiration to continue fighting this devastating disease.” 

Throughout March, Kidney Health Month, Canadians are invited to submit their “Kidney Story of Hope” through a new tool available on the KFOC website at www.kidney.ca/storiesofhope, which allows them to create a personalized story page. A jury of Kidney Foundation staff and volunteers will award five regional winners (British Columbia, the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada) with the Shire Inspira Award for most inspirational story. Each regional winner will also receive $500, courtesy of Shire Canada.

New this year!

A new award has been added for those who also wish to contribute to The Kidney Foundation’s fight to ease the burden. Participants can use their story page to invite people by e-mail, Facebook and Twitter to make donations in support of their story. This new option is entirely at the participant’s discretion, and the submissions will still be judged on their merits. This year, a non-monetary prize for the Kidney Story of Hope Outstanding Contribution will be awarded to the participant whose story raised the most donations for the KFOC.

Also new this year, participants will not only have the opportunity to post their stories online in writing via their story page, they can also choose to upload a video on YouTube and embed it into their story page. By creating story pages, participants can share their experiences and garner support via Facebook and YouTube.

Here are some tips to help you write a winning Kidney Story of Hope:

  • Novelty: Is there something unique or different about your story? Have you found a new way to cope with kidney disease?

  • Impact: Will your story help or change how other people with kidney problems work or live?

  • Human interest: Does your story inspire or motivate people in some way? Did someone inspire you—if so, how?

Winners will be announced in April 2012.  For more information about The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Kidney Story of Hope campaign, visit www.kidney.ca/storiesofhope.


INFORMATION:

Irene Aguzzi
National Director, Communications and Marketing
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Office: 514-369-4806 ext. 227
Mobile: 514-458-5342
irene.aguzzi@kidney.ca

Dominique Quirion
Associate
NATIONAL Public Relations
Office: 514-843-2302
Mobile: 514-531-5752
dquirion@national.ca

Organ Donation Rates are Stagnating – Kidneys Most Needed

February 14, 2012 - The most recent report on organ donation by the Canadian Institute of Health Information shows that the gap is growing between the number of organs available for transplantation and the numbers waiting for this life-saving treatment. Kidneys are most needed.

Paul Shay, the National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation, has conducted a number of media interviews in the wake of a national report from the Canadian Institute of Health Information, which show that the gap is growing between the number of organs available for transplantation and the numbers waiting for this life-saving treatment. Mr. Shay said the shortage is resulting in sorrow for many patients and their families. "We're really disappointed, because it is a real tragedy for everyone who is waiting for a kidney transplant and it is tragic for those who die waiting," he said.

See the full CTV coverage at http://news.sympatico.ctv.ca/home/organ_donations_in_canada_failing_to_meet_demand/f4205ae3

Read the CIHI Report: https://secure.cihi.ca/estore/productFamily.htm?locale=en&pf=PFC1696

Read the CIHI Media Advisory: http://www.cihi.ca/CIHI-ext-portal/internet/en/Document/types+of+care/specialized+services/organ+replacements/RELEASE_13FEB12 

Take this survey to let us know about your information needs!

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is continuously looking to ensure that people living with kidney disease have access to high quality information, tools and resources to help them understand and manage their disease. In order to better understand their information needs, a survey has been developed to help us identify which Kidney Foundation materials may need to be developed or improved.

If you would like to take part in this survey, please click on the following link.  Please note that all survey results will be kept confidential.

http://kidneyfoundation.fluidsurveys.com/s/organisation-of-choice/


Nearly 55 years Since Canada’s First Organ Transplant, The Need for Donors is Still Great

Nearly 50 years ago, Dr. Dossetor, The Kidney Foundation’s co-founder, made possible the first organ transplant in the Commonwealth. Bruce Deachman of Postmedia News brings new focus to this historical event, reporting on the chance and opportunity that made that transplant possible. Deachman also brings to light the recent stories of Kidney Foundation of Canada volunteers who are transplant recipients or facilitators.

To learn more about the first organ transplant (kidney) in the Commonwealth, read “I wanted Moira to live”

Read about Kidney Foundation volunteer and kidney transplant recipient, François-René Dussault in “Kidney transplants offer freedom from tyranny of ‘life support’ dialysis”

Read about Kidney Foundation volunteer, Leanne McDougall who is a  heart transplant recipient and stepmother of Steve, a multi-organ deceased donor in  “My donor gave me a second life.”

Public Advisory: House of Commons Debate on Organ Donation

Ottawa, Ontario – Dec. 2, 2011 – Members of the kidney community, specifically, and the public at large are encouraged to follow and, if possible, attend the upcoming House of Commons Debate on organ donation expected to take place Monday, December 5th after 7:00 p.m.

Those interested in attending the live event and sitting in the public gallery are advised to arrive 30-60 minutes prior to the anticipated start time to allow ample time for going through the House of Commons security check.  Those planning to attend in person are also asked to check the House of Commons site the day of the event to ensure there have been no unforeseen changes to the date and time of the debate, at:
http://www.parl.gc.ca/housechamberbusiness/ChamberHome.aspx?Mode=1&Language=E

Yesterday, this statement was read by Hon. Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons (CPC):

“Finally, there have been consultations, and in the interests of having members of the House use their place here in the forum of the nation to draw attention to an important issue that knows no party divisions and to encourage Canadians to sign organ donor cards, I, therefore, move, seconded by the Minister of Labour:

That a take-note debate on the subject of the importance of organ donations take place pursuant to Standing Order 53.1 on Monday, December 5, 2011.”


Original version: http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=5297208&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=1

Download this Public Advisory (pdf)

National Organ Donation Registry Celebrates 100th Successful Transplant

November 29, 2011 – Canada’s ground-breaking Living Donor Paired Exchange (LDPE) kidney transplant registry has reached another significant milestone with the completion of its 100th successful transplant. The landmark transplant comes less than a year after the last province signed on to make the LDPE Canada’s first truly national organ donation registry.

The LDPE – which operates as a partnership between Canadian Blood Services and transplant programs across the country - facilitates living kidney donations between patients with a willing but incompatible donor and other pairs in the same situation. Since launching as a three-province pilot in 2009, the LDPE has been a shining example of what can happen when programs work together, across provincial boundaries for the benefit of patients.

Much of the LDPE’s success can be attributed to the presence of non-directed anonymous donors (NDADs), selfless individuals who have entered the registry unpaired and are willing to donate to anyone in need. 20 NDADs have already donated through the registry, and incredibly have sparked nearly 70 per cent of the transplants completed to date.

“Non-directed donors have played a role in this system that is nothing short of heroic. They have literally given a stranger their life back. It’s hard to think of a more noble gift,” said Dr. Edward Cole, Physician in Chief, University Health Network, and Chair of the National Kidney Registries Advisory Committee.

For more information on the Living Donor Paired Exchange (LDPE) kidney transplant registry, visit the Canadian Blood Services website: www.blood.ca

Download the Canadian Blood Services press release (pdf)

Read Marina Jimenez's article in the Globe & Mail, "Living donors help strangers get a second chance"


Kidney Diet Just Got Easier: Free Online Tool Lends a Hand in the Kitchen

November 28, 2011 – For people living with kidney disease, managing their diet feels like a full-time job. Today help arrived with www.kidneycommunitykitchen.ca. The Kidney Foundation of Canada launched a new online space called the Kidney Community Kitchen, designed specifically to reduce the burden of coping with kidney disease diets.

“The Kidney Community Kitchen is simply the best online tool I’ve used for managing the kidney diet,” said Patricia Treusch, who donated one of her kidneys to her 17-year-old son in 2007. “It meets the needs of those dealing with kidney disease and dialysis on so many levels. The first thing that comes to mind for me is the improved quality of life. It will help bring back the joy of healthy eating and sharing a meal, which is always important, but especially so during the holidays.”

Free and easy to use, www.kidneycommunitykitchen.ca provides a way to plan meals and track intake of critical nutrients. Some of its features include:

  • Dietitian-approved and kidney-friendly recipes
  • Drag-and-drop meal planner that tracks vital nutrients
  • Drag-and-drop, ready-to-go weekly meal plans created by dietitians
  • The ability to submit your recipes to be added and reviewed by dietitians
  • A way to ask nutritional questions of qualified dietitians
  • Forums for sharing stories, ideas and favourite recipes
  • Diabetic exchange amounts—good for people monitoring diabetic and renal diets
  • Tips, FAQs and other nutritional info about the kidney diet

More than 60 volunteers contributed hundreds of hours to the project through design consultations, recipe review, recipe testing and user testing. “Bilingual and ad-free, www.kidneycommunitykitchen.ca is a community effort that will make people’s lives easier and give them a better way to manage their diet,” said Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

The Kidney Community Kitchen was made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of James MacOwen Andrews.  Mr. Andrews had a keen interest in diet, nutrition and prevention of kidney disease and renal failure. He spent considerable effort researching and managing his diet as a result of his own kidney problems. He was frustrated that good information was hard to find. Thanks to his personal insight regarding the challenges of living with a kidney diet – and his generosity – www.kidneycommunitykitchen.ca is now available to help reduce the burden for others.

Anyone who is inspired by Mr. Andrews’s bequest and this new online resource to help reduce the burden of kidney disease can visit www.kidneycampaign.ca or www.kidney.ca/page.aspx?pid=658#bequest to find out how they, too, can make a difference.

For more information, please contact:

Irene Aguzzi, The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Tel.: 514-369-4806 ext. 227
Mobile: 514.458.5342
Email: irene.aguzzi@kidney.ca

Paddy Moore, Specialist, Media Relations
Tel. : 613-794-6912
Email: paddymoore01@gmail.com

Download the full version of the press release (pdf)

Media Advisory: Launch event for Kidney Community Kitchen


Kidney Diet Gets Easier: New Online Tool Here to Help


November 22, 2011 - The kidney diet can take the fun out of eating—the Kidney Community Kitchen is here to put it back in! Designed by The Kidney Foundation of Canada specifically for people living with kidney disease, the Kidney Community Kitchen provides a free, trusted and user-friendly way to manage the kidney diet and enjoy food again.

About the Kidney Community Kitchen
Healthy eating is critical for people living with kidney disease, but following the kidney diet can be tough. Why is it so difficult to manage? Potassium is a good example. It's not one of the 13 core nutrients that are mandatory on the Nutrition Facts table and is often not listed. When kidney function begins to decline it becomes more difficult for the body to filter potassium, water, sodium and phosphorus. Monitoring these elements helps people living with kidney disease maintain their remaining kidney function, control the build-up of food wastes and reduce unwanted symptoms, such as nausea.

The new online resource provides a free, bilingual, easy-to-use meal planner and diet tracker. It also offers recipes approved by dietitians and a forum for discussing all manner of topics related to the kidney diet.

The Kidney Community Kitchen arrives just in time for the holiday season, helping to restore festivity to healthy eating … when so much is shared through a meal!

What:     Launch event for the Kidney Community Kitchen, serving kidney-friendly dishes

When:    Monday, November 28th

Time:      11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where:   Divino Wine Studio at 225 Preston Street in Ottawa, Ontario

Who/Speakers:   

  • Katherine Fletcher, Senior Vice President, High Road Communications
  • June Martin, Registered Dietitian and Kidney Foundation nutrition blogger
  • Patricia Treusch, Living Organ (Kidney) Donor to son living with kidney disease
  • Paul Shay, National Executive Director, Kidney Foundation of Canada
  • Nadine Valk, National Director, Programs and Public Policy, Kidney Foundation


Media Contacts for interviews & Launch RSVP:

Irene Aguzzi, The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Tel.: 514-369-4806 ext. 227
Mobile: 514.458.5342
Email: irene.aguzzi@kidney.ca

Paddy Moore, Specialist, Media Relations
Tel. : 613-794-6912
Email: paddymoore01@gmail.com

Download this Media Advisory (pdf)

The Kidney Foundation of Canada presents SeeKD abstract at the 2011 Canadian Hypertension Congress

November 1, 2011 – Last month The Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFOC) participated in the 2011 Canadian Hypertension Congress, which is designed to encourage and promote the development of fair, balanced and evidence-based information regarding the research, diagnosis and treatment of hypertension and related cardiovascular diseases, with the goal of improved patient care and health.

With this objective in mind, the KFOC presented an abstract for its national See Kidney Disease (SeeKD) targeted screening program. The program is aimed at promoting kidney health, screening populations at risk for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and supporting early detection.

The SeeKD program includes a pre-survey to collect data about participants’ knowledge of CKD and its risk factors. The testing process includes blood pressure as well as waist circumference, height and weight measurements, blood sugar testing and, if participants are in a risk category for kidney disease (such as people with hypertension), testing of blood creatinine levels.

Following screening, participants are sent to a counseling station to help them set health goals and follow-up with a health care provider where appropriate. The promotion of learning, self-management, behavioural change and follow-up by means of a post-survey also help determine if, upon receiving information about CKD and its risk factors, individuals will take action in addressing their overall health.

The data collected through the SeeKD program will help generate evidence-based data which may be used to inform public policy initiatives for the prevention and management of CKD, hypertension and other chronic diseases in high-risk groups.

To find out more about the SeeKD targeted screening program visit www.kidney.ca/seeKD

Announcing the 2011 Kidney Stories of Hope Awardees
June 21, 2011 – The Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFOC) today announced the awardees of its third annual Kidney Stories of Hope campaign. Five compelling stories were selected by The Kidney Foundation’s panel of judges and each of their authors received a $500 cash prize made possible through an unrestricted grant from Shire Canada.

Please join us in congratulating the 2011 Kidney Stories of Hope campaign awardees from five regions across Canada:
  • JoAnn Landry – Victoria, BC
  • Nikki Dalby – Calgary, AB (Prairies awardee)
  • Brittney Krueger – Woodstock, ON
  • Édouard Guernon – La Baie, QC
  • Virginia Arsenault – Charlottetown, PEI (Atlantic awardee)
“The Kidney Stories of Hope campaign has become a significant, annual event, giving voice to those most affected by kidney disease while serving to educate the general public about the severe consequences of kidney disease,” says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “The moving stories not only help inspire change, they also raise money for essential kidney-related programs and services, such as research. We thank each and every contributor for their testimonial and particularly congratulate the 2011 awardees.”

To read this year’s prized entries and for additional information on the campaign, please visit 
www.kidney.ca/storiesofhope.

Download the full press release

 

Settlement Reached in Phospho-Soda Class Action Suit

May 24, 2011 - FLEET PHOSPHO-SODA is an over-the-counter pharmaceutical product which was often directed to be used as part of a bowel cleansing regimen, especially prior to undergoing a surgical procedure such as a colonoscopy.

If you or a family member ingested FLEET PHOSPHO-SODA and developed kidney damage, you may be entitled to compensation.

A Settlement Agreement has been reached and approved by the Court and the claim period has started to run. If you or someone close to you used FLEET PHOSPHO-SODA, you should immediately review the full legal notice in this matter to ensure you understand your legal rights. A copy of the full legal notice can be viewed at www.classaction.ca (English and French) or can be obtained by contacting Class Counsel as listed below or by contacting the Claims Administrator.

The settlement is for approximately $11,995,000.00. It is not possible at this time to estimate what level of compensation any one particular Eligible Claimant may receive.

Claim forms must be completed by September 22, 2011.

The Claims Administrator can be reached at 1-866-432-5534 or fleet@nptricepoint.com. Class Counsel can be reached as follow:

English enquiries:
Siskinds LLP
680 Waterloo Street
London ON N6A 3V8
Matthew D. Baer
Tel.: (800) 461-6166, x7782
Email: matt.baer@siskinds.com
French enquiries:
Siskinds, Desmeules, s.e.n.c.r.l.
43, Rue Buade, Bureau 320
Québec, Québec G1R 4A2
Nathalie Boulay
Tel.: (418) 694-2009
Email: nathalie.boulay@siskindsdesmeules.com

 

Download the full version of this notice

Health Canada Issues Advisory on “Omega Alpha Kidney Flush”

May 5, 2011 - Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals Inc., in consultation with Health Canada, is voluntarily recalling all lots of “Omega Alpha Kidney Flush” due to the omission of cautionary and warning statements on the product label. This recall involves all lots of “Omega Alpha Kidney Flush” product, under the Omega Alpha brand, sold at retail locations in Ontario, Québec, British Columbia and Alberta.

“Omega Alpha Kidney Flush” may cause serious adverse reactions in pregnant women and kidney disease patients.

For more information consult the Advisory for this product on the Health Canada website:
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/_2011/2011_63-eng.php

 

Manitoba to Create New Electronic Organ Transplant Registry
April 21, 2011 - Manitoba is investing $100,000 to create a new, electronic registry so Manitobans can easily register their wishes about organ and tissue donation. “An organ and tissue donation can save or enhance more than 50 lives,” said Health Minister Theresa Oswald. “This centrally maintained, web-based registry will allow doctors and health professionals to easily access your record, quickly identify your wishes about organ donation and do their best to honour them.”

Only one to two per cent of the population are able to be organ donors due to timing or health reasons. Last year, Manitoba had one of the highest organ donation rates in Canada at 15.4 deceased donors per million people. In the last five years, Manitoba has seen a 67 per cent increase in organ donation. Last year, there were 53 kidney transplants in Manitoba.

This announcements build on recent investments to increase awareness of and support organ donation including:
  • funding a first-in-Canada team of hospital-based, organ-donation specialists that works with hospitals, medical staff and students to increase organ donations, as well as providing medical care to patients who wish to have their organs donated and working with the families involved;
  • partnering with the Kidney Foundation of Canada – Manitoba Branch to establish a program to reimburse expenses for living donors who donate a kidney or part of their liver to a friend or loved one;

  • beginning to provide cardiac surgeries for left ventricular assistance devices, a bridge to transplant for some cardiac patients; and

  • introducing new processes to make it easier to share the gift of life through tissue and organ donation.
Once the registry is launched, the province will introduce a public-education campaign to encourage Manitobans to register.

Read the full press release from the Goverment of Manitoba

Read the Winnipeg Free Press article "Web-based organ donor registry 'to save lives'"
Kidney Foundation Launches First National Targeted Screening Program
April 8, 2011 – Canada’s first national targeted screening program for chronic kidney disease (CKD) was announced today by The Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFOC). The program, titled See Kidney Disease or SeeKD, is being made possible by an innovative funding arrangement with CN that will enable The Kidney Foundation to fulfill one of its cornerstone mandates: early detection and prevention of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The funding for SeeKD will take the form of CN donating out-of-service railcars to Kidney Metals, an initiative of KFOC, BC Branch  in partnership with ABC Recyling Ltd. CN has pledged $600,000 over a three-year period, which will enable the SeeKD program to support early identification and prevention of chronic kidney disease in communities across the country.

CN marked the announcement by presenting The Kidney Foundation of Canada with a cheque that represents the first year’s commitment to the initiative. “We are delighted to be part of such an innovative program that will help save so many lives across the country,” said Karen Phillips, vice president public and government affairs.
ABC Recycling, a leading metal recovery and recycling firm, amazed onlookers at its Burnaby operation when it “sheared” a CN railcar resulting in 30 tons of metal now destined to improve the health of Canadians at risk of developing kidney disease. “We are happy to be able to contribute our recycling expertise to help The Kidney Foundation save lives,” said ABC’s CEO, David Yochlowitz.  “We are proud of our involvement in both Kidney Metals and Kidney Car because we know from personal experience just how important kidney health is. Ten years ago I donated a kidney to my wife.”

“Targeted screening programs have been shown to detect 93 per cent of all chronic kidney disease in the community,” says Dr. Joanne Kappel, who helped design the SeeKD program and who currently serves as chair of The Kidney Foundation’s Public Policy Council.

For more information, please contact:

Pauline Buck, APR
Communications Manager
The Kidney Foundation, BC Branch
Tel.: 604-736-9775, poste 230 (o), 604-812-1995 (c)
Email: paulineb@kidney.bc.ca
Irene Aguzzi
National Director, Communications and Marketing
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Tel.: 514-369-4806, x227(o), 514-458-5342 (c)
Email: irene.aguzzi@kidney.ca

Kelli Svendsen
Senior Manager, Public and Government Affairs
CN
Tel.: 604-589-6512
Email: kelli.svendsen@cn.ca

Download the full press release
Important Notice Concerning FLEET PHOSPHO-SODA
March 25, 2011 - FLEET PHOSPHO-SODA is an over-the-counter pharmaceutical product which was often directed to be used as part of a bowel cleansing regimen, especially prior to undergoing a surgical procedure such as a colonoscopy.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU USED FLEET PHOSPHO-SODA, PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY AS IT MAY AFFECT YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR COMPENSATION.

Class action lawsuits were initiated in Ontario, Québec and Saskatchewan alleging that C.B. Fleet Holding Company Inc., C.B. Fleet Company, Inc., and Johnson & Johnson – Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals of Canada (the "Defendants") negligently manufactured, marketed and sold FLEET PHOSPHO-SODA in Canada without properly warning of alleged risks of kidney damage. The Defendants deny the plaintiffs' allegations and deny any wrongdoing or liability. The court has not taken any position as to the truth or merits of the claims or defences asserted by either side. The allegations made by the plaintiffs have not been proven in court.

A Settlement Agreement has been reached. If you or someone close to you used FLEET PHOSPHO-SODA, you should immediately review the full legal notice in this matter to ensure you understand your legal rights. A copy of the full legal notice can be viewed at www.classaction.ca (English and French) or can be obtained by contacting Class Counsel as listed below.

English enquiries:
Siskinds LLP
680 Waterloo Street
London ON N6A 3V8
Matthew D. Baer
Tel.: (800) 461-6166, x7782
Email: matt.baer@siskinds.com
French enquiries:
Siskinds, Desmeules, s.e.n.c.r.l.
43, Rue Buade, Bureau 320
Québec, Québec G1R 4A2
Nathalie Boulay
Tel.: (418) 694-2009
Email: nathalie.boulay@siskindsdesmeules.com

The settlement is for approximately $11,995,000.00. It is not possible at this time to estimate what level of compensation any one particular Eligible Claimant may receive.

Download the full version of this notice

Saskatchewan to Reimburse Expenses of Living Organ Donors
People who decide to become a living organ donor to a Saskatchewan resident are now eligible for reimbursement of some of the expenses they may incur. The province is providing $200,000 to launch a reimbursement program for donors in partnership with The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Saskatchewan Branch.

The Kidney Foundation's Saskatchewan Branch becomes the latest Foundation Branch to help administer a Living Organ Donor Expense Reimbursement Program. The program will make it easier for individuals who wish to donate a kidney to a relative, but must travel or incur other expenses to do so.

The provincial funding will be used to reimburse living donors at a level similar to other provinces. Up to $5,500 in compensation will be available for each living donor. The Kidney Foundation will administer the program.

"We need to do all we can to increase transplant opportunities for Saskatchewan people who are waiting for a donor," The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Saskatchewan Branch Executive Director Joyce Van Deurzen said. "They deserve a chance at the improved quality of life and better health that a kidney transplant can provide."

For some history on the Living Organ Donor Expense Reimbursement (LODER) Program

Read the Government of Saskatchewan press release

Previous related announcement for the Alberta LODER Program (pdf)

Catching Kidney Disease Early Can Reduce Cardiovascular Complications
March 2, 2011 - Kidney disease is a major risk factor for heart disease, both of which are among the top ten causes of death for Canadians. During Kidney Health Month, March in Canada, The Kidney Foundation of Canada is reminding the public that addressing kidney disease early is one way of having a positive impact on helping to reduce cardiovascular disease. It’s a goal it shares with the international community of kidney foundations, whose World Kidney Day (March 10, 2011) theme also focuses on the cardiovascular risks associated with kidney disease.



Download the full press release (pdf)


Find out more about the link between kidney disease and cardiovascular disease

For more information on World Kidney Day (March 10, 2011), visit www.worldkidneyday.org

Kidney Stories of Hope Campaign Kicks Off Kidney Health Month
March 1, 2011 – March is Kidney Health Month, and The Kidney Foundation of Canada is once again launching its annual Kidney Stories of Hope campaign (www.kidney.ca/storiesofhope) to raise awareness of the importance of kidney health and what can be done to preserve it. This national campaign offers Canadians affected by kidney disease a chance to promote public education by sharing their personal journey for a chance to win one of five cash prizes of $500.

Five participants, one each from Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies, and B.C. will be recognized for their compelling testimonials submitted to www.kidney.ca/storiesofhope. Profiling inspiring stories, while encouraging Canadians to learn more about the risk factors for kidney disease and their role in disease prevention or detection, is central to the campaign.

“Knowing whether you are at risk for kidney disease, managing your diabetes and blood pressure and following a healthy lifestyle could make the crucial difference between preventing kidney disease, slowing kidney disease progression and experiencing kidney failure,” said Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

The Kidney Stories of Hope campaign profiles powerful testimonials to improve understanding of the impact of kidney disease and kidney failure. The public awareness campaign is made possible through an educational grant from Shire Canada Inc.

For more details on the Kidney Stories of Hope campaign, visit www.kidney.ca/storiesofhope.

Download the full press release (pdf)


Number of Canadians living with kidney failure triples over 20 years
January 21, 2011 - According to a new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), close to 38,000 Canadians were living with kidney failure in 2009—more than triple the number (11,000) living with the disease in 1990.

“While the number of kidney failure patients has been increasing in Canada, the supply of kidneys available for transplant has not kept pace with the growing demand. Dialysis treatments come at great cost not only to the health care system but also to the patients’ quality of life. On average, dialysis patients require treatment in a dialysis centre three times per week, often for four hours per session.” explains Louise Moist, Nephrologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario.

Kidney failure results in substantial costs to the health care system. Based on CIHI’s estimates, the cost for hemodialysis treatment is approximately $60,000 per patient, per year of treatment. A onetime cost for a kidney transplant is approximately $23,000 plus $6,000 for necessary annual medication to maintain the transplant. In 2009, the more than 15,000 patients living with kidney transplants saved the health care system an estimated $800 million.

Other key highlights of the report:
  • The rate of people living with kidney failure appears to have leveled off since 2005. This may be due, in part, to patients seeing a nephrologist in earlier stages of the disease, which may be contributing to a delay in the onset of kidney failure;

  • In 2009, there were 5,400 newly diagnosed patients with kidney failure—more than three-quarters (78%) were treating the disease using hemodialysis;

  • The average age of new adult patients starting hemodialysis was 65 in 2009, up from 55 in 1990;

  • Only 31% of patients were “late referrals” (patients that need to start dialysis less than three months after first seeing a nephrologist), down from 42% in 2001;

  • Of all Canadians with kidney failure, 39% were living with functioning kidney transplants, compared with 47% in 1990;

  • Diabetes continues to be the predominant cause of kidney failure in Canada: one in three people with kidney failure has diabetes;

  • There are currently about 3,000 people on the wait list for a kidney transplant.


For more information on this report:

Visit the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) website: www.cihi.ca

Download the Canadian Organ Replacement Registry (CORR) annual report, Treatment of End-Stage Organ Failure in Canada, 2000 to 2009

Additional news coverage:

- CBC, Kidney failure rate stabilizing

- The Globe and Mail, Transplant waiting lists and dialysis costs grow as kidney supply lags behind

- Toronto Star, Kidney failure cases triple in 20 years

- Montreal The Gazette, Kidney transplants could save health-care system millions


 

Death of KFOC Volunteer Elmer Harris
January 7, 2011 - Elmer Harris, a long-time radio broadcaster and humanitarian from Newfoundland and Labrador, has died at the age of 71. He passed away January 3, 2011 in St. John's after a lengthy illness.

Elmer started out as a rookie reporter and eventually became senior vice-president of VOCM radio in St. John's, where he worked for more than 40 years. He was the first Newfoundlander elected as the national president of the Radio Television News Directors Association of Canada, and was also a recipient of the association's Lifetime Achievement Award.

Elmer was involved in the launch of several foundations in the province, including the Janeway Children's Hospital Foundation, the Children's Wish Foundation and the Joseph R. Smallwood Foundation. He served for many years on the board of directors of the Newfoundland and Labrador Branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada and in 2008, he received the David Ornstein Distinguished Service Award from The Kidney Foundation.

He also received other national awards for his humanitarian work, including the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003 and the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in 2005.

Elmer Harris leaves to mourn his wife Joan, sons David and Stephen, and a large circle of family and friends, including many at The Kidney Foundation of Canada.
Founder of Annual Italian Night Dinner Passes Away
December 20, 2010 - Agostino Monteduro was passionate about finding a cure for kidney disease. Mr. Monteduro, a driving force behind the establishment of the Ottawa-based Kidney Research Centre and founder of the profoundly-successful Italian Night fundraising dinner, passed away on Sunday, December 12, 2010 at the age of 81.

Mr. Monteduro and a group of dedicated volunteers have raised more than $800,000 in the past 26 years in support of kidney research.

Since 1998, the Italian Night Dinner has included in its annual program the recognition of a member of the Ottawa community who has made a significant contribution to kidney research. In 1999, the Italian Night Committee established The Agostino Monteduro Endowment Fund. The fund, which has more than $500,000 endowed, will perpetually support kidney research, patient services, organ donation awareness activities and scholarships and bursaries to people undertaking studies related to kidney disease.

Mr. Monteduro was a kidney transplant recipient. In 1983, a construction accident resulted in injuries which caused a kidney malfunction and Mr. Monteduro was on dialysis for a year before receiving a transplant at the Ottawa Civic Hospital.

Inspired by the challenges facing patients he visited during his recovery, Mr. Monteduro approached The Kidney Foundation’s Eastern Ontario Chapter to ask how he could help with the cause. He devoted his energy toward many Kidney Foundation fundraising initiatives, but became widely known for establishing the Annual Italian Night Dinner and for collaborating with other influential community members to help establish the Ottawa-based Kidney Research Centre.

Six years after receiving his first transplant, Mr. Monteduro’s kidney failed.  Once again faced with the rigors of dialysis, he tenaciously continued his fundraising efforts, selling dinner and raffle tickets. He was soon on the short list for another transplant and was outfitted with a beeper commonly used to notify candidates when a suitable donor organ becomes available. During the 1990 Italian Night Dinner, Mr. Monteduro’s beeper rang and a second kidney transplant followed.

Among his many accolades, Mr. Monteduro was awarded Knight of the Order of the Star of Solidarity by the Government of Italy through the Canadian Chancellory of Honours. He was recipient of two Kidney Foundation of Canada Volunteer of the Year Awards, the Air Canada Heart of Gold Award for outstanding contributions to the community, and the Canada Volunteer Award, Certificate of Merit, granted by the Canadian Minister of Health for his valuable voluntary service in improving the health and social well-being of Canadians.

Mr. Monteduro was predeceased by his wife, Porzia. He is survived by his children Maria (Dean), Anna, Linda (Derek) and Franco, and his grandchildren Luka, Maddie and Noel.

Mr. Monteduro will be fondly remembered and missed by the staff and volunteers at The Kidney Foundation of Canada for his unwavering dedication to making life easier for those living with kidney disease.

 

 

Kidney Exchange Registry Goes National
November 30, 2010 - Yesterday the Living Donor Paired Exchange (LDPE) performed the first match run to include kidney patients and donors from all across Canada. In doing so, it became the first Canada-wide organ donation registry.

The LDPE registry facilitates living kidney donations between patients with a willing but incompatible donor and another pair in the same situation. It is a partnership between Canadian Blood Services and transplant programs across the country, and was launched as a three-province pilot in January 2009. Since then, all other provinces have gradually joined the registry, and with Quebec firming up its participation in October, the initiative has become Canada-wide in scope.

"The inclusion of all provinces in the LDPE is a significant development for patients as it increases the pool of donors. And of course the larger the pool, the more likely patients are to find a match and receive the transplant they need," said Dr. Graham Sher, CEO, Canadian Blood Services. "This is a prime example of how better collaboration and integration can improve donation and transplantation rates in this country, and ultimately, save more lives. It is what sets top performing countries apart." In addition to going Canada-wide, the registry has celebrated some other important milestones of late, including:
  • the first LDPE surgeries performed in the province of Nova Scotia;
  • the first patients in Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador receiving transplants;
  • matches and transplants for highly sensitized (difficult-to-match) patients; and
  • first instance where kidneys were shipped as part of a living donor exchange from one Canadian centre to another, demonstrating that transporting the kidney rather than the donor is feasible in some circumstances.

"A transplant is generally the preferred treatment for people whose kidneys have failed but far too many patients are dying while waiting" said Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. "Each kidney transplant saves the health care system up to $40,000 annually.  The 57 transplants that have happened as a result of this registry will save the system millions of dollars and improve the quality of life of the transplant recipients beyond any monetary value."

Read the full press release from Canadian Blood Services

Watch an interview with LDPE matched kidney recipient Rob Pattison on CTV News


Quebec Health Minister Announces Steps to Facilitate Organ Donation
November 11, 2010 – The Kidney Foundation of Canada is delighted with today’s announcement by the Honourable Yves Bolduc, Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services, that steps will be taken to facilitate organ and tissue donation in the province. In 2009, 941 Quebecers were on the waiting list for a kidney, representing 78% of people on the waiting list for an organ transplant.

Given its deep concern about the current widespread organ shortage in Quebec, The Kidney Foundation enthusiastically welcomes the proposed bill to facilitate organ donation, including the development of an intent to donate registry to be administered by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec, changes to the labour standards, the creation of a program to reimburse the expenses of living donors and Quebec’s participation in the Canadian living donor paired exchange registry.

These changes reflect solid advances in the area of organ donation in Quebec. These types of initiatives are significant in facilitating organ donation, particularly in relation to the reimbursement of expenses for living donors. Expenses can easily amount to several thousands of dollars when donors have to travel long distances or be away from work and home for an extended period of time. Moreover, the change to the labour standards in the bill being tabled recognizes the needs of workers who must be absent from their place of employment in order to act as a living donor and provide the gift of life.

“All these initiatives will facilitate organ donation in Quebec, and will help more patients waiting for a transplant to have access to one more quickly. Organ transplants from a living donor show significantly better results and can last for over 20 years,’’ noted Dr. Michel R. Pâquet, Chair of the Organ and Tissue Donation Committee of The Kidney Foundation of Canada – Quebec Branch.

“The Kidney Foundation of Canada is pleased that a project we have strongly supported has become a reality,” notes Martin Munger, Executive Director of the Quebec Branch of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. ‘’We are particularly pleased with the reimbursement of donor expenses. Donating a kidney is already a highly altruistic gesture, so we are happy that the bill limits financial losses associated with organ donation.”

Download the full press release (pdf)

 

Health Canada Issues Advisory on ACLASTA* (zoledronic acid)
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. (“Novartis”), in collaboration with Health Canada, would like to remind patients of important safety information on kidney dysfunction based on post-marketing experience with ACLASTA*.

The Canadian prescribing information for ACLASTA* is being revised to further emphasize the association of ACLASTA* (zoledronic acid 5 mg/100 mL) solution for intravenous infusion with kidney dysfunction.
  • ACLASTA* has been associated with kidney dysfunction manifested as worsening of kidney function, and in rare cases, acute kidney failure.

  • Kidney impairment has been observed following the administration of ACLASTA*, occasionally after a single administration.

  • Kidney failure requiring dialysis or with a fatal outcome has occurred especially in patients with history of kidney impairment or other risk factors. Risk factors include advanced age, some concomitant medicinal products (e.g. any medicines known to be harmful to the kidneys) or dehydration occurring after ACLASTA* administration.
Individuals who have, or used to have, a kidney problem are advised to talk to a doctor or pharmacist before taking ACLASTA*. For more information please consult the Health Canada website at http://hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/medeff/advisories-avis/public/_2010/aclasta_pc-cp-eng.php.


*ACLASTA is a registered trademark of Novartis Pharma Canada inc.
Alberta Government Gives Grant to Kidney Foundation for Living Donor Expense Program
July 7, 2010 - A $200,000 grant has been provided by the Government of Alberta to the Kidney Foundation of Canada to establish a Living Organ Donor Expense Reimbursement Program in Alberta. The program will reimburse an Albertan who donates a kidney, partial lung or liver, for some costs associated with the organ donation process.

“We need to encourage more Albertans to consider organ donation,” said Minister of Health and Wellness Gene Zwozdesky. “This important program is one way in which we can help and support living donors who have chosen to give the gift of life. Increasing the number of organ donations will, in turn, reduce wait times for Albertans needing an organ transplant.”

The Living Organ Donor Expense Reimbursement Program will reimburse a living organ donor for reasonable travel and accommodation expenses at the final stage of the assessment process as well as meals and accommodation following transplant surgery. If an individual cannot work during the recovery period, a loss of income subsidy may also be provided.

“About 375 Albertans with kidney failure are waiting for a life-saving organ,” said Heidi Erisman, Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation’s Northern Alberta Branch. “A kidney transplant from a living donor is considered a preferred treatment. It tremendously improves the quality of life and health of the recipient.”

The maximum funding available through the program is $5,500 for each living donor.

“Patients often require several years of dialysis before a transplant can be obtained,” underscored Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation. “There is a significant cost saving when there is a successful transplant – and most transplants are successful.“

Download the full press release (pdf)
Announcing the 2010 Kidney Stories of Hope Awardees

May 17, 2010 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFOC) is pleased to announce the awardees of its second annual Kidney Stories of Hope campaign. Five compelling stories were selected by The Kidney Foundation’s panel of judges and each of their authors receives a $500 cash prize made possible through an unrestricted grant from Shire Canada.

The Kidney Stories of Hope campaign empowers Canadians affected by kidney disease to share their personal experiences while participating in a national effort to promote kidney education and research during March, Kidney Health Month. For each entry, the Foundation also received $5 in funding from campaign partner, Shire Canada. Many heartfelt submissions came from across the country, and those awarded each act as a testament to the courage, strength and determination required by those confronted with kidney disease.

Please join us in congratulating the 2010 Kidney Stories of Hope campaign awardees from five regions across Canada:

  • Elaine Andrews - West Vancouver, BC
  • Brenda Delorme – St. Adolphe, MB (Prairies awardee)
  • Debbie Underwood – Zephyr, ON
  • Liz MacRae - Notre Dame de l'Île Perrot, QC
  • Pamela St. Pierre - North Tetagouche, NB (Atlantic awardee)

“Public education and awareness campaigns, kidney research and services, and appropriate and timely treatment are all vital to reducing the burden of kidney disease on individuals and the Canadian health care system,” said Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “The Kidney Stories of Hope campaign provides a platform for members of the kidney community to share their story of hope with a wider audience while helping to raise funds for essential kidney related programs and services. We thank all contributors for their powerful testimonials and particularly congratulate the 2010 awardees.”

To read this year’s prized entries go to www.kidney.ca/storiesofhope  

Download the full press release (pdf)


Donors are Needed to Meet the Demand for Organ Transplants
April 18, 2010 - April 18-25 is National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week. Did you know that Canada is currently not able to meet the growing demand for organs? In fact, Canada’s organ donation rate doesn’t even rank among the world’s top ten.

The first successful kidney transplant was performed in 1958 between identical twin sisters at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal by Dr. John Dosseter, who later became one of the founders of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. Kidney transplantation has since become the treatment of choice for many of the thousands of Canadians whose kidneys have failed.  

Test your Transplant Knowledge: www.kidney.ca/quiz-transplant
Learn more on organ and tissue donation in Canada

Canadian Blood Services is the organization mandated by the Deputy Ministers of Health to improve the organ and tissue donation and transplantation system in Canada. It is holding public consultations across Canada to gather input and insight. You too can have your say by registering to attend a consultation or hosting your own Kitchen Table Conversation on the issue and submitting your feedback. For more information on what you can do, visit www.blood.ca/speakup.
Fifty-Seven Percent Increase in Kidney Failure over 10 years
March 17, 2010 - More than 36,600 Canadians were living with end-stage renal disease, otherwise known as kidney failure, at the end of 2008 - an increase of 57% since 1999. According to a new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI),  about three out of five of these patients (21,754) were on dialysis and two out of five (14,884) were living with a functioning kidney transplant.

The report, Treatment of End-Stage Organ Failure in Canada, 1999 to 2008 draws on data from CIHI’s Canadian Organ Replacement Register (CORR) to examine dialysis and transplantation characteristics and trends in Canada. The annual report found that in 2008, there were more than 5,000 new kidney failure cases in Canada.

Overall, 2,080 transplants of solid organs were performed in Canada in 2008. These included kidney (1,216), liver (453), lung (165), heart (164) and pancreas (82) transplants.

Download the CIHI report Treatment of End-Stage Organ Failure in Canada, 1999 to 2008
Watch CBC The National's coverage of the report

Diabetic Kidney Disease – A Bet Canadians Can Beat
March 11, 2010 -  The fifth World Kidney Day - March 11, 2010 - is a pressing, global reminder for Canadians to get in the know about diabetic kidney disease. Research has shown that in population-based surveys, less than 10% were able to identify diabetes as a risk factor for kidney disease. And a recent Leger Marketing survey by The Kidney Foundation of Canada shows Canadians don't know that diabetes is one of the most frequent causes of end-stage kidney disease, which requires life-saving treatments to stay alive. It is critical for Canadians to know diabetic kidney disease is dangerous and can often be managed, even beaten.

Early detection and management of diabetes and kidney disease are terribly important for avoiding heart disease and demanding end-stage kidney disease treatments such as dialysis. “There are roughly 2 million Canadians with – or at risk for - some degree of impaired kidney function. For 20 years, we saw a steady growth rate in the number of people starting dialysis in Canada,” notes Dr. Michael Copland, a nephrologist and Chair of The Kidney Foundation's Public Policy Council. “But in the last couple of years, the rate has reached a plateau. It’s very possible that the aggressive early detection and intervention of kidney disease that has been going on for the last 10 years is beginning to show positive results.”

While early disease intervention is possible and the treatments are increasingly successful, the science can't help Canadians who remain in the dark about diabetes being a major risk factor for end-stage kidney disease. “Public knowledge is not keeping pace with medical advances,” says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “And it's why our Branches coast-to-coast hold community and public education activities on World Kidney Day and throughout the month of March to remind Canadians about the important link between diabetes, kidney health and heart health.”

Canadians can test their kidney saviness, by taking The Kidney Foundation’s online kidney quiz at www.kidney.ca/quiz. And they can take an active role in learning how diabetes can be controlled and how to better manage kidney disease, by consulting the Diabetes and Kidney Disease brochure and Eating Guidelines for Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease fact sheet, both available online at www.kidney.ca/brochures.

World Kidney Day takes place annually, every second Thursday of March. This global health awareness campaign focuses on the importance of kidneys and reducing the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.

For more information on the World Kidney Day events taking place in Canadian communities
For more information on World Kidney Day activities around the world
Download the full press release (pdf)

Survey Reveals Canadians Don’t Fully Understand the Vital Importance of Their Kidneys
March 2, 2010 - Are you kidney clever? Although 2 million Canadians have, or are at risk for, kidney disease, a Leger Marketing survey* reveals that 44% of Canadians don't identify the kidney as a vital organ. Kidney disease often progresses quietly reducing kidney function before any symptoms appear. The survey showed that most Canadians are unaware of its causes. In fact, nearly 60% of Canadians are unaware that the two most common causes of end-stage kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure – illnesses that are often preventable.

Kathryn Richardson, National President for The Kidney Foundation of Canada says the survey results indicate it’s time for Canadians to become kidney clever and learn what kidney disease really means.  “Although most Canadians know the kidneys help remove waste from the body, the majority - over 85% - don't know that kidneys produce hormones that help control blood pressure or that kidneys play a role in promoting strong and healthy bones. In fact the kidney is a major organ like the heart or lungs. It actually affects heart health. What's more, kidney disease can develop into a life-long illness with no cure if left untreated and unmanaged.”



If diagnosed early, kidney disease can often be controlled. Knowing risk factors like diabetes and high blood pressure is critical. People who are over 55 years of age or from certain populations such as First Nation, Hispanic, African American and Asian are also at risk.  

To find out if you’re at risk for kidney disease, consult the brochure Am I at Risk from The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

To find out if you’re kidney clever, take the quiz at www.kidney.ca/quiz


For media inquiries:

Irene Aguzzi
Manager, National Public Affairs
514-369-4806, ext. 227
Irene@kidney.ca


* Methodology
Leger Marketing conducted an online survey of 1,521 adult Canadians to determine their level of awareness of the kidneys’ function and the severity of kidney disease in Canada. The national survey was conducted between August 17 and August 20, 2009. The results are considered accurate within a margin of error of +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.


March is Kidney Health Month
March 1, 2010 - During Kidney Health Month dedicated Canadians from across the country work to raise awareness of the importance of kidney health. This March, Shire Canada Inc. is renewing last year's inaugural partnership with The Kidney Foundation of Canada in support of The Kidney Stories of Hope campaign (www.kidney.ca/storiesofhope). This unique initiative directly engages Canadians and offers persons affected by kidney disease a chance to promote kidney education and research by sharing their personal experiences.

More about the Kidney Stories of Hope Campaign

Read the press release from Shire Canada Inc.

PD Patient Sailing Solo Across the Atlantic
Jean-Louis Clémendot, a 59 year-old sailing enthusiast and continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) patient, left the island of Lanzarote in Spain on November 30 and has been sailing since across the Atlantic, heading for the Carribean island of Martinique.  


Mr Clémendot loves the sea of course but he also has a mission: to demonstrate to other kidney patients that peritoneal dialysis (PD) has not taken away the freedom to sail. He hopes to be an inspiration to the 1,700,000 dialysis patients around the world and show that you can continue to live life to the fullest despite kidney disease.

You can follow his adventure, the first of its kind world-wide, on his website: www.jeanlouisclemendot.fr.


There is no cure for kidney disease, and a recent survey shows Canadians don’t know. So now what?
To listen to the Audio News Release  (script 2)
For Quick Facts and Stats on kidney disease 

What do kidneys do? A recent survey by The Kidney Foundation of Canada reveals Canadians don’t know
To listen to the Audio News Release  (script 1)
Learn why kidneys are so important

Donors and recipients from Canada’s first domino transplant tell their story
September 24, 2009 - Canada's first domino kidney transplant took place in June 2009. Now the donors and recipients have more to say on how organ donation can transform lives for the better.

Read the full story in The Globe and Mail

The organ donor who started this chain of events, Ms. Lisa Sayer, will answer questions online about her experience in the Sept. 29 online edition of The Globe and Mail. You may submit a question to Ms Sayer by email until Friday Sept. 25 at 2 p.m.

Find out how to submit a question to Ms. Sayer

Study Suggests Alternative to Kidney Transplant
August 25, 2009 - Kidney transplants are the gold-standard of care for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). But given the shortage of organs available for transplantation, researchers are studying the value of alternative treatments. According to the results of a 12-year Canadian study, the odds of surviving kidney failure may be as good for patients on overnight home hemodialysis as they are for kidney transplant recipients. The Toronto Star reports that this finding was received with caution by other experts in the field who maintain that kidney transplantation remains the treatment of choice for ESRD.

Read the article published in the Toronto Star

New, Unified Web Presence for The Kidney Foundation
August 17, 2009 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada today re-launched Kidney.ca, the bilingual, go-to website for the kidney community in Canada. The new site brings all Foundation branch websites under the Kidney.ca umbrella, providing strengthened, consistent branding, regular content updates and exciting new features. 

Read more on the new features available on kidney.ca (pdf)

Announcing the New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Branch
May 7, 2009 - In order to support the mission of The Kidney Foundation of Canada in the most efficient manner possible, the provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island will henceforth be served by one Branch called the New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Branch.

We will maintain the Foundation's vibrant presence across the two provinces and we will continue to strengthen volunteer engagement in the Foundation in order to further reduce the burden of kidney disease.


Foundation Research News RSS Feed
First Nations Adults with Diabetes Have More than Double the Risk of End-Stage Kidney Disease

December 2, 2013 - In a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), the risk of end-stage renal disease was found to be 2.66 times higher for First Nations than non–First Nations adults with diabetes. Over 82% of First Nations people had diabetes before age 60, whereas most non–First Nations (56%) were over age 60.
 
Type 2 diabetes can result in end-stage renal disease after years of slow decline in kidney function, and among First Nations adults, it is increasingly occurring at a younger age. The authors recommend focusing on prevention strategies to reduce the number of new cases of diabetes and help delay the onset of end-stage kidney disease.

In a related paper in CMAJ, Alberta researchers found that rates of kidney disease are two to three times higher in First Nations people than in non–First Nations people. However, the association of albuminuria — the secretion of the protein albumin in urine, which indicates kidney problems — was similar in both First Nations and non–First Nations people. The Kidney Foundation is proud to support study coauthors Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn through the Roy and Vi Baay Chair in kidney research, Dr. Susan Samuels through the KRESCENT Program and Drs. Manns and Tonelli through other research awards.

For more information:

"Differential mortality and the excess burden of end-stage renal disease among First Nations people with diabetes mellitus: a competing-risks analysis"

"Association between First Nations ethnicity and progression to kidney failure by presence and severity of albuminuria"

Dr. Marcello Tonelli Awarded 2013 Medal for Research Excellence for Changing Nephrology Practice in Canada and Beyond

November 15, 2013 - Dr. Marcello Tonelli, the first clinician-researcher to show that statin treatment is effective in managing the cardiovascular risk associated with the early stages of chronic kidney disease, has been awarded The Kidney Foundation’s 2013 Medal for Research Excellence. Dr. Tonelli’s innovative research has changed Canadian drug policy, improved the health of vulnerable populations, and informed both national and international clinical practice.

People with chronic kidney disease are at increased risk for cardiovascular events and are more likely to die of heart failure than to develop kidney failure. Dr. Tonelli’s groundbreaking research in the area of cholesterol reduction led the way in improving treatment for these patients. His more recent research indicates that statin therapy may also reduce the rate of kidney function loss and lessen the risk of acute kidney failure.

“Dr. Tonelli’s work has shaped national and international clinical practice guidelines for the management of lipid abnormalities in kidney patients,” says Dr. Barbara Ballermann, Chair of the Department of Medicine and Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta.

At the population health level, Dr. Tonelli’s work has changed Canadian drug policy. His economic analyses are frequently cited when evaluating the cost versus health benefit of two drugs central to the treatment and long-term survival of dialysis patients: erythropoietin (used to help control blood pressure) and sevelamer (used to manage high blood levels of phosphorous, a mineral whose build up can cause heart problems).

More recently, his finding that remote-dwelling patients with kidney failure are more likely to die due to lack of access to kidney transplantation as a mode of treatment, has encouraged considerable discussion and informed decision-making regarding optimal care provision to this vulnerable population.

Dr. Tonelli has notably taken his expertise overseas to help at-risk populations in low-income settings. He established a partnership with a hospital for the indigent in Guadalajara, Mexico, and (with his wife, also a physician) volunteers regularly at a mission hospital in Kenya.

A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Dr. Tonelli completed his clinical nephrology training at Dalhousie University followed by a Master’s of Science in Clinical Epidemiology at Harvard Medical School. He is a nephrologist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Alberta, where he supervises an impressive research team including clinician-scientists who have formed a non-profit organization, the Kidney Health Research Group.

“Dr. Tonelli’s scientific drive and humanity have garnered respect and inspired colleagues and new researchers both here in Canada and abroad. His research and professional activity, as well as his volunteerism, continue to impact patient care,” says Dr. Julian Midgley, National President of The Kidney Foundation.

Author of more than 280 peer-reviewed publications, many in the highest ranked scientific journals, and immediate Past President of the Canadian Society of Nephrology, Dr. Tonelli is also a Canada Research Chair in optimal care for people with chronic kidney disease. He is volunteer chair of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Task Group, leading an international group that will inform Canada’s 36,000 Family Physicians about best practices in disease prevention.

Download the press release

 

Paying Living Kidney Donors May Be Cost-Effective and Help Prolong Lives

October 25, 2013 - A strategy of paying living kidney donors, with a consequent increase in the number of transplants performed, could be less costly and more effective than the current organ donation system, according to a new study co-authored by the University of Calgary’s Lianne Barnieh, PhD, and Dr. Braden Manns published in the Oct. 24 issue of Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

According to their model, a strategy to increase the number of kidneys for transplantation by five per cent (a very conservative estimate) by paying living donors $10,000 could result in an incremental cost savings and a gain of quality-adjusted life years over a patient’s lifetime.

“Such a program could be cost saving because of the extra number of kidney transplants and, consequently, lower dialysis costs. Further, by increasing the number of people receiving a kidney transplant, this program could improve net health by increasing the quality and quantity of life for patients with end-stage renal disease,” says Barnieh.

The prevalence of End-Stage Renal Disease is increasing worldwide but transplantation rates have not kept pace. New strategies are urgently needed but there are considerable legal, ethical and moral issues surrounding the use of financial incentives in living kidney donation.

“While it is crucial that we increase kidney transplant rates in Canada, the commercial trade of human organs is illegal in most countries, largely because the practice often exploits the most vulnerable” said Paul Shay, Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, “but we should consider all options to improve the donation rates”.

More than 80 international professional societies and governmental agencies, including The Kidney Foundation of Canada, have endorsed The Declaration of Istanbul, a policy document designed to promote both deceased and living donor transplantation around the world in a manner that protects the health and welfare of both recipients and donors while ending exploitation.

For more information:

The Kidney Foundation of Canada position statement on the commercial trade of human organs: http://www.kidney.ca/trade-of-human-organs

University of Calgary press release: http://www.ucalgary.ca/utoday/issue/2013-10-25/study-finds-paying-people-become-kidney-donors-could-be-cost-effective

Abstract and full text versions of the study on the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology website: http://cjasn.asnjournals.org/content/early/2013/10/23/CJN.03350313.abstract?sid=e3638cbe-714b-4ef7-913d-8da3e80c309e

Interview with Lianne Barnieh, PhD:
http://www.albertaprimetime.com/Stories.aspx?pd=5750

The Kidney Foundation congratulates Dr. Andreas Laupacis on being awarded the inaugural CIHR Barer-Flood Prize in Health Services and Policy Research

October 10, 2013The CIHR Institute of Health Services and Policy Research (CIHR-IHSPR) is pleased to announce that Dr. Andreas Laupacis, Executive Director of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael's Hospital, is the recipient of the inaugural CIHR Barer-Flood Prize in Health Services and Policy Research. Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose and Ontario Health and Long-Term Care Minister Deb Matthews presented the award to Dr. Laupacis at a reception held as part of the F/P/T Health Minister’s Meeting in Toronto. They were joined byDr. Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR, and Dr. Robyn Tamblyn, Scientific Director of CIHR-IHSPR.

“Research and innovation are key to strengthening our healthcare system” said Minister Ambrose. “I congratulate Dr. Laupacis on receiving this honour and commend him for his exceptional contribution to improving healthcare for Canadians as a researcher, mentor and physician.”

Read the Canadian Institutes of Health Research full press release

New Research to Discover a Cure for Rare Kidney Disease

The Kidney Foundation of Canada joined forces with The Macquarie Group Foundation (Australia) and The Alport Syndrome Foundation (U.S.) to undertake The Kidney Foundation’s first international research competition into Alport Syndrome. Dr. Oliver Gross (Germany) and Dr. Judith A. Savige (Australia) have each been awarded research grants of nearly $100,000 to develop effective treatment for this rare genetic disorder that is the second most common inherited kidney disease.  An inherited disorder of the basement membranes of the kidney, eye and ear, Alport Syndrome (AS) accounts for 3% of all people with kidney failure (end-stage renal disease).

Alport Syndrome mostly affects young men who eventually require dialysis or a kidney transplant by their early 20s. “Because Alport Syndrome is such a rare genetic disease, an international research competition is the optimal means to bring together the best talent and knowledge in this area,” says Kurt Pedersen, Senior Vice President, Investment Advisor, Macquarie Private Wealth.

“We believe that by pooling our resources, The Kidney Foundation of Canada can help generate new knowledge that can reduce, maybe even eliminate, the burden of kidney disease. We also hope to raise awareness of this rare genetic condition that can have such devastating consequences,” says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation.

Download the full press release (pdf)

 

CSN Announces Editor in Chief of New Journal

June 28, 2013 - At its Annual General Meeting in Montreal, the Canadian Society of Nephrology (CSN) announced the selection of Dr. Adeera Levin as the inaugural editor of the new official CSN Journal. Dr. Levin will move forward with plans for this open access journal, the first of its kind to serve the Canadian nephrology community.

Dr. Adeera Levin is Executive Director of the BC Provincial Renal Agency and Chair of the Curriculum Task Force for the innovative Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training Program, better known as KRESCENT (www.krescent.ca).

The Kidney Foundation of Canada congratulates Dr. Levin on her appointment and looks forward to the launch of a new medical journal for nephrologists in Canada.

 

Dr. Adeera Levin appointed President of the International Society of Nephrology

May 31, 2013 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada congratulates Dr. Adeera Levin on her appointment as President of the International Society of Nephrology, starting May 2015.

This is a tremendous achievement that reflects Dr. Levin’s many years of hard work on behalf of nephrology in general and the Canadian nephrology community in particular.

Dr. Levin is Executive Director of the BC Provincial Renal Agency and Chair of the Curriculum Task Force for the innovative Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training Program, better known as KRESCENT (www.krescent.ca).

To learn more about her Kidney Foundation funded research, consult page 15 of the 2012 edition of Let’s Talk Research.

 

Sugary Drinks May Increase Risk of Kidney Stones

May 24, 2013 – In a recently published study in the Clinical Journal of American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), Dr. Gary Curhan reported that people who consumed one or more servings of sugar-sweetened, non-cola drinks per day had an increased chance (33%) of developing kidney stones. Other sugary drinks such as cola and punch were also associated with a higher risk. Sugary drinks also contribute to obesity and tooth decay.

Doctors advise patients to increase their fluid intake to prevent kidney stones. This study shows that it is important to consider the type of fluid that is consumed.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada has funded research on kidney stones, including the following research from Dr. Todd Alexander (University of Alberta, Edmonton):

  • KRESCENT Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2007 – 2009
    “Regulation of calcium homeostasis by the anti-aging hormone, klotho”
  • KRESCENT New Investigator Award 2009 – 2012
    “Molecular Mechanisms Mediating Coordinated Proximal Tubular Sodium, Calcium, Bicarbonate and Water Absorption”
  • KFOC Biomedical Research Grant 2009 - 2011
    “The molecular determinants of proximal tubular calcium absorption”
  • KFOC Biomedical Research Grant 2011 – 2014
    “Molecules & mechanisms mediating proximal tubular calcium flux”

For more information on Dr. Todd’s research in articles previously posted on this page, see “Diets high in salt deplete calcium in the body” (July 25, 2012) and “People who get kidney stones are twice as likely to develop kidney failure: U of A medical research” (September 6, 2012).

Link to Globe and Mail article, May 24, 2013:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/sugary-drinks-may-increase-the-risk-of-kidney-stones/article12103117/

Launch of new Canadian National Transplant Research Program

April 22, 2013 - Through the development of new knowledge and health care practices a new national transplantation research program, announced today by the Federal Government, will address barriers to tissue and organ donation and will improve health outcomes for transplant recipients in Canada.

Funding for this program is being provided through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in partnership with The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Canadian Blood Services, Canadian Liver Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Canada, Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé and Genome British Columbia.

"The transplant and donation communities across Canada have come together to create a truly unique collective research program that will foster innovation, creativity and collaboration in new ways that will increase our ultimate effectiveness" said Dr. Lori West, Director of the CNTRP and Professor of Pediatrics, Surgery and Immunology at the University of Alberta. "This integration will improve donation and transplant programs across the country and will impact the lives of transplant patients and those awaiting transplant".

The CNTRP brings together over 105 investigators across 9 provinces. The program will transform the field of transplantation by addressing the barriers to donation therefore increasing the number of available organs, improving the quality and viability of donated organs and grafts, and enhancing long-term survival and quality of life of transplant patients. The CNTRP is the first program in the world to unite and integrate the solid organ transplant, bone marrow transplant and the donation and critical care research communities together in a groundbreaking national research endeavour.

Read the Canadian Institutes of Health Research press release:
http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/46632.html

Alberta Researchers Receive Top Achievement in Health Research Award

March 18, 2013 – Three researchers well known to The Kidney Foundation - Drs. Brenda Hemmelgarn and Braden Manns from the University of Calgary, and their colleague Dr. Marcello Tonelli from the University of Alberta – were among those chosen to receive the prestigious CIHR-CMAJ Top Canadian Achievements in Health Research Award.
Marcello Tonelli (left), Brenda Hemmelgarn (center), Braden Manns (right)
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) host the annual competition to highlight achievements that have had a substantial impact on the health and well-being of Canadians and others worldwide. Recipients are selected by a peer-review panel of Canadian and international.

"As Canada's primary funder of health research, CIHR is very proud to partner with the CMAJ in recognizing the talent, leadership and dedication to excellence of these individuals, whose work has helped position this country at the forefront of medicine and health worldwide," said Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of CIHR. "I also applaud the emphasis they have placed on translating new knowledge into meaningful measures that make a real difference in people's lives."

Drs. Brenda Hemmelgarn, Braden Manns and Marcello Tonelli co-lead the Interdisciplinary Chronic Disease Collaboration (ICDC). Their research and knowledge translation activities helped realize great improvements in the treatments of hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and vascular disease. Since 2010, the collaboration has published more than 38 peer-reviewed articles, including important research on the prognostic significance of proteinuria as an inexpensive predictor of risk in patients with chronic kidney disease.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is a proud supporter of excellence in health research and is honoured to have Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn as a board member of its Southern Alberta branch, and to support the following research initiatives from Drs. Manns and Tonelli through funding from its KRESCENT program:

Dr. Braden Manns:
The CAnadian KidNey KNowledge Translation and Generation NETwork (CANN-NET)

Dr. Marcello Tonelli:
Relation between residence location, care quality and adverse outcomes in people with proteinuric kidney disease”, (2011 – 2013)

For more information on research funded by The Kidney Foundation, visit www.kidney.ca/research and www.krescent.ca.

 

Kidney Foundation of Canada Helps Fund World’s First Gene Therapy Clinical Trial for Fabry Disease

January 24, 2013 - Canadian researchers, led by Dr. Jeffrey Medin, are launching the world’s first gene therapy clinical trial for Fabry disease. A rare genetic disease due to a deficiency, or the absence, of an enzyme that breaks down fatty material in the body, Fabry disease affects many organ systems. Kidney complications in Fabry Disease are common and serious. End-Stage Renal Disease typically occurs in the third decade of life and is a leading cause of death.

Gene therapy introduces corrective factors to address deficiencies caused by abnormal or absent genes. The clinical trial being led by Dr. Medin builds on his gene therapy research in experimental animal models. In gene therapy, a patient’s stem cells are removed from the blood. Then, a working copy of a new gene (with a working enzyme) is inserted into the stem cells and transplanted back into the patient. In this way, the corrective biological catalyst or enzyme  will circulate in the body. 

“Funding innovative research that reduces the burden of kidney disease was one of the founding purpose of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. Today, our support of this cutting edge clinical trial demonstrates our commitment to research that can lead to treatment breakthroughs for people living with kidney disease, regardless of its root cause. We are honored to be among the supporters of this work and will continue to finance kidney-related research whether the disease is manifested as a chronic disease, cancer, acute kidney damage, or a result of genetic factors such as Fabry disease,” says Dr. Julian Midgley, National President of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “We also recognize that stem cell research is particularly critical to providing hope for better treatment options to kidney patients.”

Download the press release from Alberta Health Services

First-of-Its-Kind Canadian Project to Chart the Future of Dialysis Research

November 29, 2012 – Do you have an unanswered question about your dialysis management?  If so, a team of Canadian researchers in tandem with patients and caregivers, is conducting the first survey of its kind ever made available to Canadians, and they would like to hear from you. Whether you’re undergoing dialysis treatment, or a person involved in the care of someone on dialysis, you can have your say in helping to chart the future of dialysis research. All submissions are welcome online at www.kidney.ca/dialysissurvey. The survey remains open until Dec. 31st, 2012.

UPDATE: The survey will remain open until January 15, 2013

Dr. Andreas Laupacis, Canada Research Chair in Health Policy and Citizen Engagement, is spearheading a Canadian first in association with the James Lind Alliance (JLA), an independent, non-profit organization from the United Kingdom. JLA has pioneered the approach of bringing together patients, caregivers and clinicians to identify the “top 10 unanswered questions” about treatments that patients would like to see addressed.

“As a person on dialysis, you experience kidney failure treatment firsthand; and it is important that you have a say into the type of research that is done to improve quality of care,” says Dr. Laupacis. “Furthermore, if you have helped someone on dialysis, or are currently supporting someone through the treatment, you may have questions that will resonate with others.” All questions are welcome, be they about the kinds of dialysis treatment, dialysis access, medications, diet, the treatment of symptoms, or lifestyle issues. Questions can be submitted by following the on-screen instructions at www.kidney.ca/dialysissurvey. Participants can submit as many questions as they want. It should only take about 10 minutes; and responses will remain anonymous.

The Chronic Dialysis Patient Survey project is made possible through the support of the Canadian Kidney Knowledge Translation and Generation Network (www.cann-net.ca), the James Lind Alliance (www.lindalliance.org) and The Kidney Foundation of Canada (www.kidney.ca). “This project is an excellent example of how we at The Kidney Foundation work in partnership with innovative leaders to ensure that world-class research is carried out. Projects such as these make it possible for researchers to explore questions of relevance to the people most affected by a specific area of study, in this case dialysis,” says Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research for The Kidney Foundation of Canada and member of the project’s Steering Committee.

The project’s eleven person Steering Committee, which includes an equal number of dialysis patients and researchers, is made up of: Michael Gladish (Yukon), Claire Large (Alberta), Brenda Toth (Saskatchewan) and Howard Silverman (Quebec), who are either on dialysis, close to needing dialysis or who have had a transplant; Annette Cyr, a caregiver of someone on dialysis (Nova Scotia); Brenda Hemmelgarn and Braden Manns, who are nephrologists and researchers from the University of Calgary (Alberta); Sally Crowe, from the James Lind Alliance, Oxford, U.K.; Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research at The Kidney Foundation of Canada; Andreas Laupacis, a physician and researcher from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto; Erin Lillie, a research associate from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

Download the full press release (pdf)

 

Lead Investigator on Landmark Walkerton Health Study Awarded 2012 Medal for Research Excellence

November 15, 2012 – Dr. William Clark, the lead investigator of Canada’s landmark Walkerton Health Study, has been awarded the 2012 Kidney Foundation of Canada Medal for Research Excellence. Distinguished in many areas of medicine and nephrology, Dr. Clark has gained international recognition for his observational studies, randomized clinical trials and treatment of kidney patients. Most recently, he has gained world-wide attention for his work examining the increased risks of initiating dialysis treatment early.

Dr. Clark’s career as a clinician-scientist spans over three decades. He has focused on studies aimed at preventing or slowing progressive kidney disease. His work has explored many issues, including the role of platelets in kidney injury resulting from diseases of the immune system such as lupus nephritis or glomerulonephritis. He also studied the application of plasma (blood) exchange and dialysis to improve the treatment and health of people suffering from kidney injury.  

“Dr. Clark is frequently consulted to develop protocols for identification, management and follow-up of persons exposed to contaminated water,” says Dr. Louise Moist, Professor of Medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine University of Western Ontario. “The body of literature created from the Walkerton Health Study will provide ongoing evidence of the need for screening to identify the health risks after such an outbreak and ways to prevent severe impacts through early treatment.”

Currently, Dr. Clark is initiating a randomized control trial that will assess the role of increased water intake on slowing the progression of the loss of kidney function in patients suffering from chronic kidney disease. It is based on his 7 year longitudinal study in Walkerton. He is Co-chair of the Canadian Society of Nephrology’s guidelines committee on early initiation of dialysis and of the Research Council of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Dr. Clark was recently awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for his charitable work, which notably includes initiating and managing two different major fundraisers as well as being Honorary Cabinet Member (Ontario) of The Kidney Foundation’s New Challenge Campaign.

For more details on Dr. William Clark's career visit www.kidney.ca/research/MRE

Download the full press release

New Drug Shows Hope for ADPKD Treatment

November 11, 2012 - Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most commonly inherited disease of the kidneys, yet there are few known effective treatments. Results of a Phase III Clinical Trial presented at the November 2012 American Society of Nephrology (ASN) annual meeting indicate the tide may be turning.

In ADPKD, many cysts form in the kidney, becoming large and fluid-filled. Over time, pressure from these cysts slowly damages kidney tissue. Painful and often causing hypertension, ADPKD leads to end-stage kidney disease (renal failure) in 50% of diagnosed cases.

Early studies indicated that V2-receptor antagonists can prevent cyst growth and slow the deterioration of kidney function. The V2-receptor antagonists are a form of treatment which targets vasopressin, a hormone that enables water absorption by the kidney and plays an important role in proper hydration. When present in high levels, however, vasopressin can cause high blood pressure.

At the most recent ASN meeting, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. announced encouraging clinical trial results for tolvaptan, a drug that works through the V2- receptor. Tolvaptan showed a decline in kidney cyst growth, a slowed decline in kidney function, and reduced risk of hypertension. Participants receiving tolvaptan, however, did report discontinuing treatment due to adverse events, such as excessive thirst related to aquaresis (increased urination that does not affect the body’s electrolyte metabolism), and other side effects unrelated to the regular symptoms of ADPKD.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada has funded research related to the V2-receptor by Drs. Bichet and Bouvier. Dr. Daniel Bichet, a recipient of the Foundation’s Medal for Research Excellence, is a nephrologists at Montreal’s Sacré-Cœur Hospital and at the Université de Montréal.  Dr. Michel Bouvier is a Principal Investigator with the Université de Montréal’s Immunology and Cancer Research Institute.

New England Journal of Medicine article on the clinical trial:
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1205511?query=OF#t=article

New Findings Debunk Long-Held Theory that Kidney Disease is Part of the Normal Aging Process

November 12, 2012 - Recent findings from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Chronic Kidney Disease Prognosis Consortium, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, note that a higher risk of death was associated with chronic kidney disease and its complications, regardless of age. The expansive study, involving 178 collaborating researchers and including data spanning nearly four decades (1972-2011) from more than 2 million ethnically-diverse participants the world over, debunks the theory that development of chronic kidney disease is a regular part of the aging process.

Data has shown that the prevalence of CKD increases with age. For years, researchers have wondered whether this was just part of the normal course of aging. There was even consideration being given to  revisiting the definition of CKD (i.e. the presence of kidney damage, or a decreased level of kidney function, for a period of three months or more).

Researchers also wondered if risk factors associated with CKD were likely to increase with age. After analyzing the data from the global study, researchers concluded that chronic kidney disease and its complications are linked to increased risks, including death, independent of a person’s age. Therefore, strategies to diminish the risk of disease and enhance treatment of those affected should remain a priority regardless of age.

Canadian researchers involved in the study, and who have been supported by The Kidney Foundation, are:

  • Marcello Tonelli (University of Alberta, Edmonton)
  • Adeera Levin (University of British Columbia/St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver)
  • Brenda Hemmelgarn (University of Calgary, Alberta)
  • Matthew James (University of Calgary, Alberta)
  • Navdeep Tangri (University of Manitoba, Winnipeg)

A review of the research is available at:  
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121031142011.htm

 

The Kidney Foundation of Canada partners with Kidney Cancer Canada and Government to support national research network

October 9, 2012 – A new national network dedicated to improving the care and management of kidney cancer patients in Canada has been launched today. This network has received funding through a partnership between The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Kidney Cancer Canada.

“We enthusiastically support the network,” said Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “It is a logical continuation of Horizons 2015, a process in which The Kidney Foundation and other key stakeholders identified network building as crucial to bringing laboratory findings forward to the point of positively impacting patient care.”

From left to right: Mr. Paul Shay, Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, Dr. Michael Jewett, Dr. Colin Carrie,
Ms. Deb Maskens, Ms. Catherine Madden. 

The network, led by Dr. Michael Jewett at the University Health Network in Toronto, will bring together kidney cancer survivors, expert health care providers and researchers from across Canada.  The goal is to improve the care and treatment provided to kidney cancer patients through national collaboration on research strategies, clinical trials, and the use of resources. While the network aims to improve care for kidney cancer patients in Canada, it has the potential to serve as a model for other types of cancers and strengthen the health care system overall by working together in research.

Read the press release from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

Download the CIHR fact sheet: “Kidney Cancer Research Network”

For more information please contact:

Wim Wolfs
National Director of Research
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Tel.: 514-531-2212
wim.wolfs@kidney.ca

People who get kidney stones are twice as likely to develop kidney failure: U of A medical research

September 6, 2012 - People who have had kidney stones are twice as likely to need dialysis or a kidney transplant later in life, demonstrates recently published findings by medical researchers at the University of Alberta. Their article was recently published in the British Medical Journal.

Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry researchers Todd Alexander and Marcello Tonelli tracked data of more than three million Albertans over an 11-year period from 1997 to 2009. They discovered those with a history of kidney stones were twice as likely to have serious kidney problems later in life when compared to people who had never suffered from kidney stones. And women under the age of 50 who had a history of kidney stones were four times as likely to later develop kidney failure. Although the actual number of those who developed kidney failure was small, the link to having a history of kidney stones was noteworthy.

“I think what these results tell me, is that we should be screening those with a history of kidney stones for risk factors for the development of kidney disease,” says Dr. Alexander, the study’s first author and a practising pediatric nephrologist.

“I am not surprised by these findings because when you are passing a stone through a kidney, there is definitely the potential for permanent damage.”

Based on their findings, between five and seven per cent of Albertans will develop a kidney stone in their lifetime, says Dr. Alexander. The data is more alarming in the United States where 10 to 11 per cent of the population develops kidney stones. Half of those who get kidney stones will have a reoccurrence – anywhere from one to several more episodes.

“It’s important to note that the vast majority of people with kidney stones won’t develop permanent kidney damage,” adds Dr. Tonelli. “But a few will, and that’s why it’s important for people with stones to get proper follow-up care – to reduce their risk of another stone, and to detect kidney damage if it has occurred.”

People could try to decrease the likelihood of the development of kidney stones by decreasing their sodium intake, drinking more water and, if needed, taking certain medication. It has been previously observed that those who develop kidney stones have kidneys that don’t function at optimal levels, which is a factor in the whole issue. 

Dr. Alexander is a researcher in the Department of Physiology and the Department of Pediatrics, while Dr. Tonelli holds a Canada Research Chair in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Nephrology.

The primary funders of the research were: The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions, the University Hospital Foundation, and the KRESCENT program (a training and support program for kidney research scientists).

“We are proud to support outstanding and innovative research that helps us to improve our understanding of the possible risk factors for developing kidney failure,” said Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Drs. Alexander and Tonelli are continuing their research in kidney health.

View the article in Nephrology News & Issues

What is your lifetime risk of developing kidney failure?

Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn and colleagues from the University of Calgary and University of Alberta published a study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology that examined the lifetime risk of developing End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Lifetime risk is the probability of someone developing a disease during their remaining lifespan.

 “We do have estimates for the prevalence and incidence of End Stage Renal Disease and this tells us something about the burden of disease”, stated Dr. Hemmelgarn, “but lifetime risk may give more information to the general public and policy-makers.”

 They studied close to three million adult Alberta residents who were free of kidney failure at the start of the study in 1997 to 2008.

Major findings:

  • A 40-year-old man with no ESRD has a lifetime risk of developing ESRD of 2.66%. This approximates 1 in 40 men.
  • A 40-year-old woman with no ESRD has a lifetime risk of developing ESRD of 1.76%. This approximates 1 in 60 women.
  • Risks were higher in people with reduced kidney function (men 7.51% and women 3.21%).

 The following study co-authors are receiving research funding from The Kidney Foundation of Canada: Marcello Tonelli (Biomedical Research Grant 2011 – 2013), Braden Manns (CANN-NET Research Network 2011 – 2014), Matthew James (KRESCENT New Investigator Award, 2012 – 2015) and Brenda Hemmelgarn (The Roy and Vi Baay Research Chair in Kidney Disease, 2011 – 2016).

 “This is an important study,” says Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “The Kidney Foundation is interested in a better understanding of the risks and burden of kidney disease. The study demonstrates the lifetime risk in an easily understandable index that can be communicated to patients, health professionals and policy makers. The Kidney Foundation is proud to have supported the development of these excellent researchers.”

For more information on The Kidney Foundation of Canada or the KRESCENT Program, contact Wim Wolfs, National Director Research 514-531-2212 (cell.) or wim.wolfs@kidney.ca.

View the article in Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

View this recent article on CBC News 

Diets high in salt deplete calcium in the body

July 25, 2012 - The scientific community has always wanted to know why people who eat high-salt diets are prone to developing medical problems such as kidney stones and osteoporosis. Medical researchers at the University of Alberta may have solved this puzzle.

Principal investigator Todd Alexander and his team recently discovered an important link between sodium and calcium. These both appear to be regulated by the same molecule in the body. When sodium intake becomes too high, the body gets rid of sodium via the urine, taking calcium with it, which depletes calcium stores in the body. High levels of calcium in the urine lead to the development of kidney stones, while inadequate levels of calcium in the body lead to thin bones and osteoporosis.

Todd Alexander

“When the body tries to get rid of sodium via the urine, our findings suggest the body also gets rid of calcium at the same time,” says Alexander, a Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry researcher whose findings were recently published in the peer-reviewed journal American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology.

“This is significant because we are eating more and more sodium in our diets, which means our bodies are getting rid of more and more calcium. Our findings reinforce why it is important to have a low-sodium diet and why it is important to have lower sodium levels in processed foods.”

It’s been known for a long time that this important molecule was responsible for sodium absorption in the body, but the discovery that it also plays a role in regulating calcium levels is new.

“We asked a simple question with our research – could sodium and calcium absorption be linked? And we discovered they are,” says Alexander.

“We found a molecule that seems to have two jobs – regulating the levels of both calcium and sodium in the body. Our findings provide very real biological evidence that this relationship between sodium and calcium is real and linked.”

In their research, the team worked with lab models that didn’t have this important molecule, so the models’ urine contained high levels of calcium. Because calcium was not absorbed and retained by the body, bones became thin.

A journal editorial written about this research discovery noted the molecule could be a drug target to one day “treat kidney stones and osteoporosis.”

The primary funder of the research was the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

“We are proud to support the research of Dr. Todd Alexander,” said Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “Data in the United States shows that nearly 10% of adults will have a kidney stone at least once in their life. The prevalence of kidney stones also seems to be increasing in the U.S., which may be attributed to high rates of obesity and diabetes, along with possibly increased salt intake.”

View the research publication in the American Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology

View recent coverage of this publication in The Globe and Mail

 

Kidney Foundation Among Partners in $10 Million Transplant Research Investment

During a celebratory event to welcome home Ottawa resident Hélène Campbell, transplant recipient and organ donation activist, the Honourable Leona Aglukkag, Minister of Health, used the opportunity to announce an investment of $ 10 million for transplant research.

“The Kidney Foundation enthusiastically supports the investment in transplantation research,” said Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “It is a logical continuation of Horizons 2015, a process in which The Kidney Foundation and other key stakeholders identified network building as crucial to bringing laboratory findings forward to the point of positively impacting organ donation and transplantation.”

“We congratulate Hélène upon her return to Ottawa following her double-lung transplant,” said Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “Through months of passionate activity on social media and in the mainstream press, Hélène has had a tremendously positive impact on the public interest in organ donation.”

Read the Federal Government press release: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/nr-cp/_2012/2012-114-eng.php

Should You Donate a Kidney to a Relative or Someone in the Community?

May 29, 2012 – In a recent article in Le Devoir, Dr. Marie-Chantal Fortin, a nephrologist on Notre-Dame Hospital’s transplant team and recent KRESCENT fellowship recipient, considered the ethical issues surrounding the recruitment of compatible donor-recipient pairs for Canada’s Living Donor Paired Exchange (LDPE) kidney registry, which is coordinated by Canadian Blood Services.

Marie-Chantal Fortin, M.D.

Dre. Marie-Chantal Fortin
CRCHUM - Hôpital Notre-Dame

Dr. Fortin’s research project weighs the ethical issues surrounding the recruitment of compatible donor-recipient pairs to come up with a set of ethical guidelines to govern the practice.

Read the full article (in French only), Donner un de ses reins à un proche parent ou à la collectivité ? Le dilemme. at LeDevoir.com.






Kidney ‘attack’ could help define acute kidney injury

May 15, 2012 – In a recently published Viewpoint in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Drs. Kellum, Bellomo and Ronco argued for increased public awareness of acute kidney injury (AKI) and the need for increased research.

AKI is not well known to clinicians and researchers and barely known by the public. KRESCENT New Investigator Dr. Jean-Philippe Lafrance (Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Montreal) said “the incidence of AKI is between 1.8 to 5.2 per 1,000 population, which is similar to acute myocardial infection. Mortality associated with certain forms of AKI is higher than for acute myocardial infarction despite that supportive therapies, such as dialysis, are available.”

The authors argue that research funding needs to be directed to AKI and there is a need for a campaign to increase the general public’s awareness. Like heart attack, they suggest the introduction of the term ‘kidney attack’ to help the general public, and physicians, visualize what is happening during AKI.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is proud to support the training and research of AKI researchers through the KRESCENT Program.

Dr. Jean-Philippe Lafrance - Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, Montreal

  • KRESCENT Post-Doctoral Fellowship   2007 – 2009
  • KRESCENT New Investigator Award   2010 – 2013

Article in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation: Incidence and outcomes of acute kidney injury in a referred chronic kidney disease cohort

Dr. Matthew James – University of Calgary

  • KRESCENT Post-Doctoral Fellowship   2006 – 2009

Article in Journal of the American Society of Nephrology: Weekend Hospital Admission, Acute Kidney Injury, and Mortality

Dr. Michael Walsh – McMaster University, Hamilton

  • KRESCENT Post-Doctoral Fellowship   2006 – 2009
  • KRESCENT New Investigator Award   2011 – 2014

Article in Journal of the American Society of Nephrology: Statin Use Associates with a Lower Incidence of Acute Kidney Injury after Major Elective Surgery

Dr. Michele Zappitelli – Montreal Children’s Hospital

  • KRESCENT Post-Doctoral Fellowship   2005 – 2007
  • KRESCENT New Investigator Award   2008 – 2011
    (co-funded with Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé)

Article in Critical Care Medicine: Protein and calorie prescription for children and young adults receiving continuous renal replacement therapy: a report from the Prospective Pediatric Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy Registry Group.

New Research Initiative on Rare Kidney Disease Announced

March 1, 2012 - The Kidney Foundation of Canada is pleased to be partnering with the CIHR on an important new research initiative focused on rare diseases. “  The Fabry disease project is a translational research that could see new therapies becoming available sooner to patients in the clinical setting,” says Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research for The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “The Kidney Foundation’s interest in supporting research in rare kidney diseases is further underscored by our launch, just last week, of a research competition specially focused on Alport Syndrome.”

Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research for The Kidney Foundation, stands with Canadian rare disease research advocates.

Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research for The Kidney Foundation,
stands with Canadian rare disease research advocates.


For more information on the medical value of research on rare diseases, we recommend reading the following articles in the journal Nature:

"The Great Beyond"
"Rare diseases: Genomics, plain and simple"

Read the news release (pdf)

New Research Report on E. coli Early Protective Treatment

January 20, 2012 - A recently published study by Dr. Philip Marsden and colleagues, including KRESCENT Post Doctoral Fellow (2008 – 2011) Dr. Darren Yuen, in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI) sheds new light on the relationship between harmful bacteria, like E. coli, and kidney failure.

Dr. William Clark, Scientific Co-Chair of The Kidney Foundation’s Research Council and lead investigator, Research and Operations of the Walkerton study (2002 – 2009) says, “Dr. Marsden's report is very exciting news and potentially of great value in both identifying and treating those who suffer blood vessel injury due to the E. coli toxin. Almost all of the serious long-term effects we detected and treated in the Walkerton study were due to blood vessel injury and the opportunity to identify those at risk and provide a potential early protective treatment is a very important step forward.”

The Kidney Foundation is proud to support excellent Canadian researchers such as Dr. Darren Yuen, through the KRESCENT Program.

For more information on the KRESCENT Program or The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s research initiatives, contact Wim Wolfs, National Director Research at (514) 531-2212 (cell) or by email at wim.wolfs@kidney.ca.

View the research publication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (pdf)

View recent coverage of this publication in The Calgary Sun




Leading Pediatric Nephrologist Dr. Norman Rosenblum Awarded 2011 Medal for Research Excellence

November 11, 2011 – For his internationally recognized research in the area of pediatric nephrology, his outstanding role as a clinician scientist and his leadership in mentoring Canada’s next generation of kidney researchers, Dr. Norman Rosenblum has been awarded The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s 2011 Medal for Research Excellence. Each year, The Kidney Foundation presents The Medal for Research Excellence to a Canadian researcher whose work is deemed by peers as having improved the treatment and care of people living with kidney disease.

“Outstanding clinician scientists are able to identify problems in the field when working with patients and also have the skill set to address the issues in a research laboratory setting,” says Wim Wolfs, National Director of Research for The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “Dr. Rosenblum is without question an outstanding clinician scientist.”

Dr. Norman Rosenblum accepts the 2011 Medal for Research Excellence 


Dr. Rosenblum’s research work is focused on studying malformations which occur during development of the kidney and urinary tract. Poorly understood, these abnormalities result in a whole family of diseases that are the leading cause of childhood renal failure. Yet, his laboratory has provided important new insights. Specifically, they have succeeded in genetically modifying the function of a number of critical protein pathways, which in turn affect the work of key cells. By manipulating the amount of intercellular communication or “signaling” in these pathways, his research team has generated mouse models that replicate human problems. The malformations appear in a number of ways, from anomalies in the number of kidney filters (nephrons) and the integrity of kidney tissue to the swelling of the kidney or urinary tract (a condition known as hydronephrosis). Investigating the roles of signaling pathways in their particular context during the actual process of kidney development is vital, providing unprecedented knowledge and understanding of the function of specific genes and the genesis of specific diseases. This can potentially lead to novel treatment of the disease itself and improved health for patients.

A patient-centered researcher, Dr. Rosenblum is also a much sought-after mentor. For the past 10 years he has been the Principal Investigator of an interdisciplinary program that trains clinician-scientists in the field of child health in Canada. The principles of the program, which links 17 universities across the country in 7 child health disciplines, have served as a model for others. “Dr. Rosenblum’s launching of the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program was instrumental in helping to shape the Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training Program founded by The Kidney Foundation and multiple partners in 2005,” says Dr. Kevin Burns, last year’s recipient of the Medal for Research Excellence and Program Director of the kidney-focused, researcher training program known as KRESCENT.

Kathryn Richardson, National President of The Kidney Foundation, was delighted to present Dr. Rosenblum with the Medal for Research Excellence. “Dr. Rosenblum was a member of the team when my son had a kidney transplant at 16 years of age. The operation went well, but we had several tense weeks afterwards as his body tried repeatedly to reject the kidney. Dr. Rosenblum took time to make a special visit to us, offering calm support and encouragement. I will never forget that moment.”

To learn more about Dr. Rosenblum’s work, his research teams and how the revolution in genetics has impacted kidney disease research, visit www.kidney.ca/researchexcellence.

Download the full press release

Nobel in Medicine Awarded for Immune System Discoveries

October 3, 2011 - Three scientists, including Canadian Dr. Ralph Steinman who passed away three days ago, have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for discoveries relating to the immune system.

In 1973, Dr. Steinman discovered a new cell, the dendritic cell, which has the unique capacity to activate T-cells. These latter cells play an important role in adaptive immunity, when antibodies and killer cells fight infections; and help the immune system to mobilize its defences the next time it comes under a similar attack.

"Dr. Steinman’s work – and the recent recognition for it - speaks to the importance of funding innovative research and supporting researchers early in their career, roles which The Kidney Foundation undertakes with pride," says Dr. William Clark (Chair of the Foundation’s Research Council).

The Kidney Foundation of Canada has funded kidney research on the role of dendritic cells in transplantation and IgA Nephropathy. Examples included;

  • Dr. K. West at Dalhousie University
    • Characterization of swine dendritic cell - human T cell interactions – 1999 – 2001
    • The dendritic cell cytoskeleton and the immunological synapse – 2001 – 2003
    • The immunological synapse between dendritic cells and CD8+ T cells – 2003 - 2005
    • Dendritic cell Vav1 in allograft rejection – 2005 – 2007
  • Dr. R. Liwski at Dalhousie University
    • Modification of mature dendritic function by lymph node stromal cells 2007 – 2009
  • Dr. J. Gommerman at University of Toronto
    • Evaluating the relationship between gut immune cell homeostasis and pathogenic immune complex deposition in the kidney in mice over-expressing BAFF - 2008 - 2010


Link to Globe and Mail article "Canadian Nobel winner can keep prize, officials decide": http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canadian-nobel-prize-winner-died-days-before-award-announcement/article2188491/

Link to video with Dr. Ralph Steinman on research funding:
http://www.globecampus.ca/videos/features/gairdner-awards-steinman/?from=2188491

Link to New York Times article "Canadian-Born Scientist Dies 3 Days Before Winning Nobel Prize in Medicine": http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/10/03/world/AP-Nobel-Medicine.html?hp

Link to Nature News article "Nobel announcement marred by winner's death":
http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111005/full/478013a.html?WT.ec_id=NATURE-20111006

Gut Microbes Linked to Kidney Disease

Researchers have uncovered a possible cause of an inflammatory kidney disease that can lead to kidney failure.

The team of researchers, co-led by Dr. Jeffrey Browning at Biogen Idec, Cambridge, and Prof. Jennifer Gommerman (Dept. of Immunology) at the University of Toronto in collaboration with Dr. Lea Novak and colleagues from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, has found that IgA nephropathy could be linked to an overzealous IgA response against micro-organisms that normally live in the gut.

The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, offer a new line of research into what may trigger the disease, which can lead to kidney failure and is the most common form of glomerulonephritis (inflammation of small blood vessels in the kidney) worldwide.

Individuals with IgA nephropathy, also known as Berger’s disease, have kidneys that leak blood and sometimes protein into the urine. The condition is caused by the inappropriate accumulation of IgA, an antibody that helps rid the body of microbes, in the kidneys. However, it is not known what causes IgA to accumulate in the kidneys.

The research team found that in a model with over expression of a molecule called BAFF (also known as BLyS) develop IgA nephropathy in a manner that depends on the immune response to particular gut micro-organisms called commensal flora. If those micro-organisms are eliminated, many features of the disease disappear. In providing clues to the etiology of IgA nephropathy, the research may lead to insights on how to treat the disease.

The study was funded by The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Institutes of Health.

View the article in the Journal of Clinical Investigation

First Dialysis Patients to Successfully Receive Lab Grown Vessels
July 5, 2011 - Dr. Todd McAllister recently presented cutting edge research showing that human blood vessels grown in a laboratory from donor skin cells can be successfully implanted into patients. Dr. McAllister and his team, which includes Canadian Dr. Nicolas L’Heureux (PhD Laval University, Quebec), showed that the patients who received implants did not develop immune reaction up to eight months after implementation. This research, highlighted in a webinar by the American Heart Association Emerging Science Serie, is the first step towards having a bank of blood vessels in various shapes and sizes that may address a costly and vexing problem in dialysis patients: the failure of blood vessels.

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is a proud supporter of innovative science, and is currently funding research in the Design, fabrication and characterization of a nanotechnology based wearable artificial kidney led by Morteza Ahmadi, KRESCENT Allied Health Doctoral Award (funded by The Kidney Foundation of Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada).

For more information on The Kidney Foundation of Canada Research Program, visit www.kidney.ca/research and www.krescent.ca.

Watch the webinar from The American Heart Association Emerging Science Series

Download the news release from The American Heart Association

Read the Globe and Mail article, Dialysis patients receive first blood vessels grown in a lab

View the Medical News article, Tissue-engineered blood vessels from donor skin cells successfully implanted in patients


Needed: Population-Wide Sodium Reduction to Prevent Blood Pressure Related Diseases such as Cardiovascular and Kidney Diseases
May 26, 2011 – In an article published recently in its journal Circulation, the American Heart Association (AHA) reiterated the importance of population-wide sodium reduction to help prevent blood pressure related diseases such as stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure and kidney disease. There is a large body of evidence that links sodium intake with elevated blood pressure and individuals, healthcare providers, organizations, governments and industry are called on to address this major public health issue.

Dr. Joanne Kappel, nephrologist and chair of The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Public Policy Council, notes that sodium reduction is particularly important for people with kidney disease because it can "improve blood pressure, decrease the incidence of kidney stones, improve action from blood pressure medications and help reduce cramping/improve comfort for people on hemodialysis."

For more information on the AHA call to action on population-wide sodium reduction, view the article at http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/reprint/CIR.0b013e31820d0793

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is proud to support the following research into hypertension or sodium-related kidney disease:

Role of epidermal growth factor ligands in microparticle signaling during hypertension,
Dylan Burger, KRESCENT Post Doctoral Fellowship 2009 – 2012.

KRESCENT Fellow proposes a new model to predict CKD progression

A study published in the April 11, 2011, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), by Dr. Navdeep Tangri and colleagues, proposes a new model to predict progression of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), one that is based on standard laboratory tests.

There are an estimated 2.6 million Canadians who have kidney disease, or at risk. This number can be considered too high to effectively monitor and treat using the currently accepted five stage, chronic kidney disease classification system.  Dr. Tangri and his colleagues consider that a better prediction model for identifying those people at the highest risk of developing CKD would be a tremendous step forward for kidney patients, health care professionals and the Canadian health system.

The Kidney Foundation is proud to support excellent Canadian researchers such as Dr. Navdeep Tangri, through the KRESCENT program.

For more information on the KRESCENT Program or The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s research initiatives, contact Wim Wolfs, National Director Research at (514) 531-2212 (cell) or by email at wim.wolfs@kidney.ca.

View the article in the Journal of the American Medical Association
http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/305/15/1553.abstract

Survival in Pediatric Dialysis and Transplant Patients in Canada

The Pediatric Renal Outcomes Canada Group (PROCG), a group of Canadian nephrologists led by Dr. Susan Samuel from the University of Calgary, has published a study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN, March 2011), describing the long-term survival of children with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and the risk factors for death.

The PROCG studied data from a national organ failure registry and administrative data from Canada’s universal healthcare system for 843 ESRD patients, aged 0-18 years, in nine Canadian provinces from 1992 to 2007.

The researchers discovered that the most common cause for ESRD in pediatric patients was congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract. The main causes of death were cardiac events, infections, cancer, social (drugs, alcohol, suicide, treatment refusal) and other (respiratory, gastrointestinal, strokes). The 5-year survival rate was 92% and 10-year survival rate was 86%.

The research team, however, did not find an improvement in survival for renal transplant patients over the course of the 15 year time period studied. They called for further studies in causes and mechanisms of death, threats to transplant function (such as the BK virus), and tailored immunosuppression therapy for pediatric patients.

“Even though we have made remarkable progress in the treatment of pediatric kidney disease, this study underscores that we still need to answer many more complex questions to ensure the best possible health outcomes,” says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Link to article: http://cjasn.asnjournals.org/content/early/2011/03/10/CJN.04920610.abstract

The Kidney Foundation of Canada is proud to support the following research into pediatric kidney disease:

  • Dr. Todd Alexander: Molecular Mechanisms Mediating Coordinated Proximal Tubular Sodium, Calcium, Bicarbonate and Water Absorption (KRESCENT New Investigator Award, 2009–2012) (Only available in English)
  • Dr. Françoise Le Deist: Nouveaux outils de pharmacodynamie dans le but d'optimiser la prescription d'immunosuppresseurs chez les enfants vivant avec un rein transplanté (Biomedical Research Grant, 2010–2012) (Only available in French)
  • Dr. David Nicholas: Examining transition from child to adult care in chronic kidney disease (Allied Health Research Grant, 2010–2012) (Only available in English)
  • Dr. Susan Samuel: Health care utilization during transition from childhood to adulthood in pediatric end-stage renal disease patients (Biomedical Research Grant, 2010–2012) (Only available in English)

 

Home-based peritoneal dialysis can be an effective option when a transplant fails

January 14, 2011  - The Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN) published a study by Dr. Jeffrey Perl and colleagues reporting that patients returning to dialysis after kidney transplant failure did equally well on home-based peritoneal dialysis as on hemodialysis. The researchers studied over 2,000 adult Canadian patients who started dialyis after kidney transplant failure between January 1991 and December 2005.

Dr. Perl was funded by a Kidney Foundation of Canada Biomedical Fellowship (2008 – 2010) under the supervision of Dr. Vanita Jassal.

View the abstract in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

Download the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) press release

View the article with François-René Dussault, a Peer Support Program Volunteer with The Kidney Foundation of Canada, in the Ottawa Citizen

Poor Response to Anti-Anemia Drug Predicts Higher Risk of Heart Disease or Death
January 7, 2011 - In late 2010, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that patients with diabetes, kidney disease and anemia who did not respond to treatment with the anti-anemia drug, darbepoetin alpha, had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease or death than those who did respond to the anemia drug.

The Trial to Reduce Cardiovascular Events with Aranesp* Therapy (TREAT) included 4,038  participants (176 Canadians from clinical centres across the country). Dr. Patrick Parfrey, the 2002 recipient of The Kidney Foundation of Canada's Medal for Research Excellence, was a member of the TREAT Executive Committee.   

To read more on the study, visit http://nephronline.com

*darbepoetin alpha is the generic name for Aranesp

KRESCENT Post-Doctoral Fellow Publishes in The Lancet
January 7, 2011 - Findings published in the Dec. 2010 issue of the prestigious English medical journal, The Lancet, by Dr. Mathew James and colleagues of the Alberta Kidney Disease Network (AKDN) underscored the importance of using the estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) along with proteinuria to identify people at risk of acute kidney injury. Proteinuria is the presence of high protein levels in the urine and eGFR is a measurement of the kidney’s ability to filter waste products. Used together, they are invaluable indicators of kidney health or disease.

Acute kidney injury, leading to negative short-and long-term health outcomes, is common and yet, preventable.  In his study, Dr. James notes that “people who have had an episode of acute kidney injury, can have persistent kidney function loss and have an increased risk to develop end-stage renal disease”.

This study, funded by the Interdisciplinary Chronic Disease Collaboration (ICDC), is based on information culled from more than 900,000 adults in a province-wide (Alberta) database.

The Alberta Kidney Disease Network (AKDN) published an earlier study pronouncing the importance of eGFR and proteinuria in the identification and management of chronic kidney disease.

The Kidney Foundation is proud to support excellent Canadian researchers, such as Dr. James, through the KRESCENT program and has dedicated the fifth volume of its Let’s Talk Research newsletter to profiling the work of such investigators.

The Kidney Research Scientist Core Education National Training (KRESCENT) Program focuses on the training of world class scientists. It was created in 2005 through a special contribution of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Society of Nephrology and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. A unique program, KRESCENT is characterized by: the recruitment of trainees from multiple disciplines, for involvement in a national curriculum; career development support at the (post-) doctoral level including the first Faculty appointment and ongoing mentorship; and the development of collaborative research and knowledge translation across research themes.
 
For more information on the KRESCENT Program or The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s research initiatives, contact Wim Wolfs, National Director Research at (514) 531-2212 (cell) or by email at wim.wolfs@kidney.ca.

View the article in The Lancet
View the ICDC press release for more information

Discoverer of EPO Dies of Kidney Failure

December 23, 2010 - Eugene Goldwasser, the University of Chicago biochemist whose agonizingly long but ultimately successful search for a single protein helped launch the biotechnology industry, died on December 17, 2010 in Chicago after a brief illness. He was 88.

The immediate cause of death was renal failure associated with advancing prostate cancer, which he’d lived with for over 20 years. When his kidneys began to fail shortly after Thanksgiving, Goldwasser opted for hospice care instead of dialysis, a procedure revolutionized by his discovery.

Goldwasser, whose government-funded research began as a Cold War experiment to cure radiation sickness, found and purified erythropoietin, or EPO, which is a naturally-occurring hormone produced by the kidneys to stimulate new red blood cell production. Today, genetically-engineered versions of EPO cure anemia in dialysis and cancer patients and generate billions of dollars in sales for Amgen, Johnson & Johnson and Roche.

Read the obituary on Gooznews.com

Starting Dialysis Too Early May Be Life Threatening

December 23, 2010 - A study led by Dr. William Clark, published in the Dec. 2010 issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, signals that patients diagnosed with kidney disease, if started too early on dialysis, are at an increased risk of death. On the other hand, early referral to a kidney specialist is clearly linked to better survival rates.

The study considered data of 25,910 adult patients in Canada who started dialysis between 2001 and 2007. The researchers looked at the timing of the start of dialysis (early vs. late in the disease progression) and the risk of death in these two groups over time. “Consistently through our research, it was shown that there is no benefit to initiate dialysis prematurely. In fact, it was concluded that it would potentially threaten the patient’s survival,” the researchers wrote. The authors also maintained that "in contrast to early initiation of dialysis, early referral to a nephrologist is consistently associated with better survival." “This study makes an important contribution to our understanding of how to best minimize the risk to kidney patients when treating end-stage renal disease,” says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. He also noted that “this study underscores the importance of registries such as the Canadian Organ Replacement Registry (CORR) for the development of clinical guidelines for the best treatment of kidney patients.”

Together with the Canadian Society of Nephrology (CSN), The Kidney Foundation is proud to be one of the founding organizations of CORR. Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn, Chair of the Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee of the CSN states that “the results of studies such as this are important for updating guidelines for patient care, as well as highlighting the value of registries such as CORR in providing the detailed clinical information to undertake such research”.

Dr. William Clark is a professor the University of Western Ontario and is a member of the Biomedical Scientific Committee of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. The results of his study are consistent with CSN Clinical Practice Guidelines.

 

KRESCENT researcher Dr. Nina Jones is awarded a Canada Research Chair

December 22, 2010 - The KRESCENT Program would like to congratulate Dr. Nina Jones (University of Guelph) for being awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair. The Canada Research Chairs are intended to help universities attract and retain top researchers and make Canada one of the world’s top countries in research and development. Awarded to potential world leaders in their field for a period of five years, each chair is worth $ 100,000 per year.

Dr. Jones is a New Investigator (grant awarded in 2007) in The Kidney Research Scientist Core Education National Training (KRESCENT) Program. The KRESCENT Program was created in 2005 through a special contribution of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Society of Nephrology and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The Program focuses on the training of world class scientists and supports researchers like Dr. Jones so they can dedicate time to study their area of focus. In the case of Dr. Jones, research is focused on the podocyte (a unit that filters the blood in the kidney).

“These [Research Chairs] are prestigious awards”, said KRESCENT Program Director, Dr. Kevin Burns. “It shows that the Program is supporting excellent young researchers who will contribute to a better understanding of kidney function, which represents the first step to finding a possible cure for kidney disease.”

A unique program, KRESCENT is characterized by: the recruitment of trainees from multiple disciplines, for involvement in a national curriculum; career development support at the (post-) doctoral level including the first Faculty appointment and ongoing mentorship; and the development of collaborative research and knowledge translation across research themes.

Dr. Kevin Burns garners the 2010 Medal for Research Excellence

December 3, 2010 – Dr. Kevin Burns, a leader in translating kidney research into patient-oriented practices and a clinician-scientist committed to training future scientists, garners The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s 2010 Medal for Research Excellence.

Past President of the Canadian Society of Nephrology, Dr. Burns currently chairs the Steering Committee for the Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training (KRESCENT) Program, a unique national research-training program for clinical and basic science trainees that he played a key role in founding. Dr. Marie-Josée Hébert, Shire Chair (Université de Montréal) in Nephrology, Transplantation and Renal Regeneration notes that “Dr. Burns was instrumental in making the KRESCENT Program a reality. He still shows an incredible dedication and leadership in the training of young scientists who will be optimally prepared for developing innovative and multidisciplinary research programs.”

Dr. Burns’ research work has focused on the functioning of the kidney-based hormone system that regulates blood pressure and fluid levels (renin-angiotensin system or RAS). Recently, his laboratory has revealed insights into the function of a RAS enzyme called ACE2, which may protect against kidney damage. Dr. Burns has also demonstrated a commitment to translating his studies at the basic science level to patients affected by kidney disease.

Download the full press release (pdf)

Go to our Research section for more information on the Medal for Research Excellence 

Kidney Transplantation May Reduce Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Older CKD Patients
September 27, 2010 - Research published in the Journal of Hypertension by Dr. Moshen Agharazii and colleagues from the Université Laval (Quebec City) reports a first-time finding of age-dependent improvement in aortic stiffness after successful kidney transplantation. As a result of aging, arteriosclerosis or end-stage kidney disease, arteries may stiffen and increase the heart’s workload, leading to an increased risk of death. The study’s new observations suggest older Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients with a successful kidney transplant have reduced cardiovascular risks.

“It was always thought that the stiffness of the blood vessels could not be reversed,” states Dr. Agharazii. “In this study, we showed for the first time that stiffness of the blood vessels is reversible as early as 3 months after a successful kidney transplantation … It is now time to study why patients with kidney disease develop vessel stiffness and how we can intervene to prevent and reverse this stiffness even in patients who do not have the opportunity to undergo kidney transplantation.”

This study was made possible by an innovative funding partnership known as a New Emerging Team Grant – Chronic Disease, involving The Kidney Foundation of Canada, three institutes of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), The Heart & Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Diabetes Association. “New knowledge is essential to reducing the burden of kidney disease and can often surface when funders pool resources to support interdisciplinary research. The Kidney Foundation recognizes the importance of pushing boundaries to fund excellent research and will continue to work with other organisations to make this possible’’, says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

For more information on the KRESCENT Program or The Kidney Foundation of Canada, contact Wim Wolfs, National Director Research (514) 531-2212 (cell.) or wim.wolfs@kidney.ca.

View the article in Journal of Hypertension

Kidney Foundation of Canada Funded Study Identifies Barriers to Living Kidney Donation

July 13, 2010 - A study published in Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation by a group of Albertan researchers led by Ms. Lianne Barnieh, supported by a Kidney Foundation Allied Health Doctoral Fellowship, explored for the first time in Canada the barriers to living kidney donation for eligible kidney transplant patients.

The most frequently reported barriers identified by potential recipients were not knowing how to ask someone for a kidney and fear either for themselves (the transplant not functioning) or donor (future health implications). Kidney disease patients who understood the living donation process or that the donation did not pose significant long-term risk to the donor were more likely to have had discussions with potential donors

Dr. Barnieh’s study suggests “that providing appropriate information about living donation, which can be delivered within a structured educational intervention, could influence the decision to discuss and seek a living donor.”

“This is an extremely important study”, says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “The more we understand people’s perceptions, belief and behaviors in the organ donation process the better we can design educational programs to empower people regarding organ donation.”

For more information on The Kidney Foundation of Canada contact Wim Wolfs, National Director Research, at 514-531-2212 (cell.) or wim.wolfs@kidney.ca.

View the article in Nephrology Dialysis and Transplantation

Kidney Foundation Funded Study Finds That Vitamin B May Be Harmful For Kidney Patients With Diabetes
May 3, 2010 - In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by Dr. Andrew House of the University of Western Ontario, patients with diabetic nephropathy taking high doses vitamin B showed a decrease in kidney function and were at increased risk for heart attacks and stroke.

Patients with diabetes normally have higher homocysteine (an amino acid that increases clotting of the blood) levels and often take vitamin B supplements, which seem to lower homocysteine levels. Studies have shown that too much homocysteine in the blood is related to higher risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.

Dr. House and colleagues think that because vitamin B is water soluble, healthy people would excrete excess vitamin B in the urine. However individuals with reduced renal function would not be able to do so, perhaps causing the adverse affects seen in this study.

“This is an extremely important study”, says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “People with kidney disease often take vitamins assuming they must be safe and good for their health. People with kidney disease should talk to their doctor before taking over-the-counter supplements.”

For more information on The Kidney Foundation of Canada contact Wim Wolfs, National Director Research 514-531-2212 (cell.) or wim.wolfs@kidney.ca.

View the article in Journal of American Medical Association

Canadian Study Finds Chronic Kidney Disease Screening Could Increase Early Disease Management and Public Health

April 14, 2010 - According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by Dr. Brenda Hemmelgarn and colleagues of the Alberta Kidney Disease Network, the reporting of estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) – a measurement of the kidney’s ability to filter waste products - increased first time visits to kidney specialists, especially for middle aged to elderly patients, patients with more severe kidney dysfunction and those with co-morbidities, such as hypertension and diabetes.

This news is notable because Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is an important and increasing public health problem that could be more effectively addressed and treated by early patient and physician awareness. In fact, early detection and appropriate interventions could stem chronic kidney disease progression - or even reverse it.

“An extremely important measurement of kidney function is estimated GFR”, says Paul Shay, National Executive Director, The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “People at risk for kidney disease should know their GFR just as people at risk for cardiovascular disease know their blood pressure.”

A low GFR is an indication of reduced kidney function. Estimated GFR is calculated using a formula based on age, gender and the result of a blood test (serum creatinine) to estimate kidney function. Creatinine is a natural waste product of body muscle. High levels in the blood or serum tests coupled with other risk factors, is an important indicator of an individual’s kidney health or possible kidney damage.

This Canadian study, funded by The Kidney Foundation of Canada and the KRESCENT Program and published in March 2010, is based on information of more than 1,000,000 adults in a province-wide (Alberta) database. The same research group published an earlier study that showed a lower eGFR is associated with an increased risk of negative outcomes (see story “Reduced kidney function with proteinuria associated with increased risk of kidney failure”). Together these studies underscore that CKD is common and requires referral to a specialist.

The Kidney Research Scientist Core Education National Training (KRESCENT) Program focuses on the training of world class scientists.  It was created in 2005 through a special contribution of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Society of Nephrology and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. A unique program, KRESCENT is characterized by: the recruitment of trainees from multiple disciplines, for involvement in a national curriculum; career development support at the (post-) doctoral level including the first Faculty appointment and ongoing mentorship; and the development of collaborative research and knowledge translation across research themes.
 
For more information on The Kidney Foundation of Canada or the KRESCENT Program, contact Wim Wolfs, National Director Research 514-531-2212 (cell.) or wim.wolfs@kidney.ca.

View the article in Journal of American Medical Association

Reduced Kidney Function with Proteinuria Associated With Increased Risk of Kidney Failure
February 11, 2010 - Patients with high levels of  protein in the urine (proteinuria) coupled with at least one other marker of reduced kidney function had a higher risk of death, heart attack and progression to kidney failure according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) co-authored by Dr. Matthew James. Dr. James is a Post-Doctoral Fellowship recipient of the landmark Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training (KRESCENT) Program made possible by The Kidney Foundation and a team of collaborators.

This Canadian study, published in February 2010, is based on information from nearly a million (902,985) adults in a province-wide (Alberta) database and proves significant for both its size and findings. Current guidelines for the classification and staging of chronic kidney disease (CKD) are based on estimated glomerular filtration rate or eGFR (a measure of the severity of kidney damage) without explicit consideration of the severity of coexistent proteinuria. The authors note: ''our findings do suggest that risk stratification performed in terms of eGFR alone is relatively insensitive to clinically relevant gradients in risk.''

Presently, chronic kidney disease is classified in five (5) different stages based on eGFR. This classification scheme has been very helpful in educating both medical professionals and the general public on CKD incidence and the implications of CKD in terms of early identification and management of persons with the disease.

The five stage classification, however, has been questioned for not including the presence and severity of proteinuria, a condition in which urine contains an abnormal amount of protein. Proteinuria is an important indicator of CKD associated with negative outcomes.

Not everyone progresses from stage 1 to stage 5. Research is ongoing to better understand the factors that cause kidney failure and to identify individuals who are at particular risk for it.

“This is an important study,” says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada. “The Kidney Foundation is interested in a better understanding of chronic kidney disease. The study demonstrates the importance of proteinuria. The Kidney Foundation is proud to support relevant research and those who perform it. These kinds of findings contribute in a significant way to a pool of knowledge that cumulatively has practical implications for both clinical care and research.”

The KRESCENT Program was created through a special collaboration of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Society of Nephrology and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The KRESCENT Program focuses on the training of world class scientists. It is a unique program characterized by: the recruitment of trainees from multiple disciplines, for involvement in a national curriculum, supports the career development at the (post-) doctoral level and the first Faculty appointment, with ongoing mentorship support, and fostering the development of collaborative research and knowledge translation across research themes.

For more information on the KRESCENT Program or The Kidney Foundation of Canada, contact Wim Wolfs, National Director Research (514) 531-2212 (cell.) or wim.wolfs@kidney.ca

View the article in Journal of American Medical Association

The Kidney Foundation and Dietary Salt Reduction
January 27, 2010 - The Foundation is proud to partner in the Sodium Reduction Research Workshop organised by the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) Institutes for Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes and Cardiovascular and Respiratory Health. The Workshop was held January 25 and 26 in Toronto and evaluated the strengths, gaps and opportunities in research capacity in Canada for sodium reduction research. It aims to develop the research agenda for sodium reduction that will support the Health Canada Workgroup on Sodium Reduction.

“Consuming more salt than we need can lead to high blood pressure,” says Paul Shay, National Executive Director of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, a member of Hypertension Canada, “and after diabetes, hypertension is the most common cause of kidney failure. So it stands to reason that if you care about your health, you’ll want to put a halt on the salt.” The benefits of dietary salt intake reduction were underscored in an editorial published in the New England Journal of Medicine accompanying a landmark study on the public health benefits of dietary salt reduction. The study by Dr. Bibbins-Domingo (University of California, San Francisco) concluded that a 3 gram per day reduction in dietary salt would reduce the annual number of deaths from any cause by 44,000 to 92,000 in the United States. Lowering salt intake would result in small but measurable reduction in blood pressure. The NEJM editorial also stated that that there is evidence that salt reduction may reduce end-stage kidney disease.

Read the editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine
Read Dr. Bibbins-Domingo's article in the New England Journal of Medicine


Canadians Support Increase in Medical Research Funding
January 19, 2010 - A recent Angus Reid survey, conducted on behalf of six health organizations, found that most Canadians would support increased government funding for health and medical research because they believe breakthroughs are possible within 10 to 20 years. Results of the "Canada Speaks! 2010: Canadians Go for Gold in Health and Medical Research" survey are available at: http://www.canadaspeaks2010.ca/content.php?sec=3

More coverage of the survey available at:
http://www.news.tradingcharts.com/futures/5/3/134155835.html

Acute Kidney Injury Increases Long-Terms Risk of Death
December 23, 2009 - Patients with sudden loss of kidney function, called acute kidney injury (AKI), are more likely to die prematurely after leaving the hospital—even if their kidney function has apparently recovered, according to a study by Dr. Jean-Phillipe Lafrance, a KRESCENT Post Doctoral Fellowship recipient. "Our study found that risk of death remains elevated long after the acute kidney injury," comments Jean-Phillipe Lafrance.

Dr. Lafrance has returned to the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital in Montreal after finishing his Fellowship at the Boston University School of Public Health. His Fellowship research led to the publication of an article focusing on Acute Kidney Injury and the risk of death in the Journal of American Society of Nephrology.

View Dr. Lafrance’s article in Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 
Download the full press release (pdf)

2009 Medal for Research Excellence Awarded to Dr. Susan E. Quaggin
December 11, 2009 – Dr. Susan E. Quaggin has been awarded The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s 2009 Medal for Research Excellence for exceptional work that has extensively improved the lives of people living with kidney disease.

As a clinician-investigator, Dr. Quaggin develops research questions of major importance through her observations and work with patients at St. Michael’s Hospital. She runs her own lab at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto where she performs groundbreaking work.

“Sue Quaggin is an extensively published, accomplished and talented young scientist in the flourishing phase of her career,” notes Dr. Andras Kapus, associate professor at the research institute of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. “She has rendered immense service to the field of nephrology and to people with kidney disease. We look forward to what she will achieve in the years to come.’’

Each year The Kidney Foundation of Canada awards The Medal for Research Excellence to honour a Canadian researcher whose work is recognized by their peers for having improved the treatment and care of people living with kidney disease and related conditions.

Download the full press release (pdf)
Read our newsletter Let's Talk Research for more researcher profiles (pdf)

New Canadian Research Helps Doctors Care for Kidney Patients

October 9, 2009 – Research funded by The Kidney Foundation of Canada and led by kidney specialists at Lawson Health Research Institute and London Health Sciences Centre will make it possible for doctors to quickly and effectively access information relevant for patient care. These research findings have been released this week in the print version of the renowned British Medical Journal (BMJ).

“Our study shows that MEDLINE, the database most used by doctors to guide patient care, can be filtered in a reliable manner for patient relevant information,” says Dr. Amit Garg, a London Health Sciences Centre nephrologist and epidemiologist, Lawson scientist, associate professor with the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at The University of Western Ontario and Clinician Scientist with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Previous attempts to filter the database for a clinical discipline have been limited.

“Using filters is like screening for disease in high risk populations,” says Dr. Garg. “Instead of searching the entire MEDLINE database, doctors can now perform their search within a set of articles relevant to the discipline, such as kidney or kidney disease. Our best renal filters exceeded 97% sensitivity and specificity so they can now be programmed into the system, available for everyone to use – not just renal specialists.’’

Download the full press release (pdf)
Read Dr. Garg's article in British Medical Journal

KFOC Fellowship Recipient Publishes Study Results
August 21, 2009 - Dr. Josée Bouchard, a KFOC Fellowship recipient (July 2007 to June 2009), has returned to Hôpital Sacré-Coeur in Montreal after finishing her Fellowship at the University of California San Diego. Her Fellowship research has led to the publication of an article focusing on critically ill patients suffering from acute kidney injury and the effect of fluid accumulation on their outcomes.

Despite progress in intensive care delivery and dialysis support, there has not been much improvement in survival of acute kidney injury patients. Dr. Bouchard's study shows that fluid accumulation may aggravate the increased mortality in dialyzed and non-dialyzed patients with acute kidney injury. Randomized controlled trials are now needed to confirm whether the fluid accumulation was a result of a more severe renal injury or a factor contributing to its cause. Dr. Bouchard worked with members of the Program to Improve Care in Acute Renal Disease (PICARD) Study Group to complete the project informing her publication.

View Dr. Bouchard’s article in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

View the editorial on Dr. Bouchard's article in Nature Reviews Nephrology

Now a Montreal-based nephrologist and clinical researcher, Dr. Bouchard is involved in a multicenter prospective study on acute kidney injury including patients from Hôpital Sacré-Coeur, University of California San Diego and 3 medical centers in the state of New York. Other centers from South America, Europe and Asia will join their group over the next months.

Dr Catherine Whiteside To Be Awarded 2009 May-Cohen Award
August 19, 2009 - Dr. Catharine Whiteside, the Foundation’s 2007 awardee of the Medal for Research Excellence, will receive the Canadian Medical Association 2009 May-Cohen Award for Women Mentor. 

Download the press release from the Canadian Medical Association (pdf)
Read our profile on Dr. Whiteside

Quality of Life of Dialysis Patients Focus of Foundation-funded Documentary

June 15, 2009 - A two-year study (2006-2008) funded by The Kidney Foundation of Canada and the Donner Canadian Foundation, “Living with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD): Multiple perspectives on suffering and healing” has resulted in a feature-length, patient-centred documentary film about what it is like to live with kidney failure.

Led by Dr. Thomas Hutchinson and Dr. Dawn Allen of McGill University, the project began as a discussion between patients and health professionals. Living With Kidney Failure draws on video data from focus group discussions, biographical interviews, and observation in dialysis units to raise awareness about chronic kidney disease and to promote a better understanding of its quality-of-life implications for people who live with this chronic illness.

Watch the documentary Living With Kidney Failure

Foundation-Funded Research with Important Implications

June 3, 2009 - A team of researchers at The University of Western Ontario, led by Joaquin (Quim) Madrenas of the Robarts Research Institute, has discovered some processes that reduce the lethal effects of toxins from superbugs, allowing humans and microbes to co-evolve. This discovery may lead to novel alternatives to antibiotics that specifically target the toxic effects of these superbugs. The findings are being published in the journal Nature Medicine and are now available online.

View press release (pdf)
View Dr. Madrenas article in Nature Medicine

Dr. Madrenas' research was funded by The Kidney Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and was featured in Let's Talk Research vol. 1 (pdf)




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