Compared to Just Two Years Ago, Primary Care Physicians Report Substantial Changes in Their Knowledge and Use of the National Ki

EXTON, Pa., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, Inc. recently published its Special Report: Referrals in Nephrology II. This report is based on online survey results from over 300 physicians. It provides insight into the referral patterns and co-management of patients with chronic kidney disease (pre-dialysis) from the perspective of nephrologists, endocrinologists, and primary care physicians. The report focuses on understanding these physicians' awareness of kidney disease, triggers for referral, knowledge of and treatment with therapies for hypertension, diabetes, renal anemia, secondary hyperparathyroidism and hyperphosphatemia. It also models the number of chronic kidney disease non-dialysis patients under the care of a nephrologist as well as the number of additional, unique patients being followed by endocrinologists and primary care physicians.

Compared to just two years ago when this study was last fielded, there has been a substantial increase in awareness and use of the National Kidney Foundation chronic kidney disease staging criteria among non-nephrologists. This change was particularly strong among primary care physicians, and seems to be driving earlier diagnosis and referrals to nephrologists. Additionally, over 40 percent of nephrologists report that referring physicians are more aware of kidney disease than in the past. Despite these positive changes, nephrologists report that many patients are still referred to them later than what they would consider the ideal time for referral.

While anti-hypertensives, statins and diabetes agents are the most commonly used therapies in chronic kidney disease non-dialysis patients, these medications are most often initiated by non-nephrologists. Use of bone and mineral metabolism and renal anemia therapies, while used less frequently, are typically initiated by nephrologists. Changes may continue as over two-fifths of primary care physicians expect to become more involved in the care of chronic kidney disease non-dialysis patients in the future.

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