Research Findings for Improved Quality of Life, Fewer Complications, Better Outcomes
More than 13,000 kidney healthcare professionals will convene in San Diego Nov. 3-8 for the Kidney Week 2015 conference of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), an annual event at which foremost experts in renal care share ideas and research to advance the field.
An active conference participant, Fresenius Medical Care (FMCNA) has embraced the opportunity to highlight the company’s data, findings and clinical developments that impact renal patients. ASN accepted 47 FMCNA-submitted abstracts –more than any other dialysis provider — developed by 85 authors and involving the work of approximately 1,200 staff members.
Some of the more impactful research developments that FMCNA will present include a new marker to monitor blood glucose in diabetics on dialysis, a drug that controls serum phosphate levels while reducing the pill burden that kidney patients can experience, and a positive trend in heart attack and stroke in patients with chronic kidney disease.
“Research and innovation are central to our mission of constantly improving the care for renal patients. We look forward to meeting and engaging with other professionals committed to advancements in renal care,” said Dr. Frank Maddux, FMCNA Chief Medical Officer and Executive VP, Clinical and Scientific Affairs.
AN ALTERNATIVE MARKER FOR GLUCOSE CONTROL
Because diabetes interferes with the body’s ability to break down glucose, or blood sugar, the levels of blood sugars in diabetics must be closely monitored. One of the most popular tests for this involves measuring the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that helps to transport oxygen.
This test, called an A1C test, has come under scrutiny for patients with advanced CKD/ESRD (chronic kidney disease/end-stage renal disease) because it yields inconsistent results with that population. To that end, Fresenius Medical Care researchers concluded that another tool, albumin-adjusted and unadjusted fructosamine (AlbF), may better estimate poor blood sugar control in diabetics on dialysis than the standard of relying solely on A1C. 
In the study, FMCNA researchers found that poor glucose control was identified in 28% of patients as measured by A1C, but in 35% by AlbF. AlbF showed promise as a tool to predict hospitalizations and increased mortality, and in a related study was shown to also predict negative outcomes in dialysis patients who do not have diabetes. 
HELPING TO CONROL THE PILL BURDEN OF DIALYSIS THROUGH SERUM PHOSPHORUS LEVELS
The daily pill burden for people with end stage renal disease on dialysis is one of the highest of any chronic illness, and studies show that the more pills people take, the lower their quality of life. Dialysis patients must take a number of “binder” drugs to help remove harmful accumulation of phosphorus from their blood.
When excess phosphorous remains in the blood, the resulting condition can cause heart disease and other health complications. Because ESRD patients lack the ability to filter out such elements, controlling the levels of phosphorus is critically important.
Phosphorus binders are a large contributor to the pill burden for ESRD patients. To address this issue, FMCNA demonstrated that a compound called sucroferric oxyhydroxide (the Fresenius Medical Care phosphate binder known as Velphoro®) successfully controls levels of phosphorus with fewer pills than the current standard of care in dialysis patients (sevelamer carbonate). [3,4]
Their commitment to active research plays a critical role in helping us understand how best to treat patients who have renal or other chronic illnesses.”
– Dr. Frank Maddux, FMCNA Chief Medical Officer and Executive VP, Clinical & Scientific Affairs.
FEWER HEART ATTACKS AND STROKES
The findings of another study suggest that current treatments for ESRD patients may be making a difference in comorbidity. In an 11-year study of more than 600,000 dialysis patients, researchers found the incidence of myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular events has been decreasing. 
IMPROVING RENAL CARE WORLDWIDE
Topics of other FMCNA presentations at the ASN conference include slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease; improving management of bone and mineral metabolism; mathematical modeling to improve patient outcomes; fluid management and blood pressure control; and global and local collaborative approaches to providing better kidney care, among others. FMCNA hopes its research will continue to result in improved quality of life, fewer hospitalizations and complications, better outcomes and treatment cost savings for patients.
“I want to express my appreciation to the authors, Fresenius Medical Care clinical staff, researchers and other academic collaborators who helped Fresenius Medical Care make substantive contributions to advancing kidney disease care,” said Dr. Maddux. “Their commitment to active research plays a critical role in helping us understand how best to treat patients who have kidney disease or other chronic illnesses.”
- Williams M. Glycemic Markers and 2-Year Diabetic Hemodialysis Outcomes from the Glycemic Indices in Dialysis Evaluation Study. Abstract 44.
- Williams M. Glycemic Markers and 2-Year NonDiabetic Hemodialysis Outcomes from the Glycemic Indices in Dialysis Evaluation Study. Abstract 45.
- Ficociello L. Real-World Use of Sucroferric Oxyhydroxide in Hemodialysis Patients: Changes in Serum Phosphorus Control and Phosphate Binder Pill Burden. Abstract 37.
- Ficociello L. Phosphorus Control and Phosphate Binder Pill Burden During Real-World Use of Sucroferric Oxyhydroxide in Peritoneal Dialysis Patients. Abstract 36.
- Chan K. Eleven-year trends in myocardial infarction and stroke in the incident and prevalent dialysis population. Abstract 31.