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Primary Care Pilots To Tackle Kidney Disease - Media Release

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Primary Care Pilots To Tackle Kidney Disease - Media Release

A new initiative, which started with the appointment of a clinical nurse specialist in July 2010 at Waikato District Health Board to prevent and or delay the progression of diabetic end stage kidney failure, is an intensive education and monitoring programme run through the Midland Regional Diabetes Service at Waikato Hospital.

The programme (see Minister of Health's release below) has initially been set up for diabetic patients identified as high risk for progression to end stage kidney failure, but not meeting existing criteria for specialist input.

Renal physician Dr Maggie Fisher said the aim was to optimise blood sugar levels, blood pressure control and lipid profiles through an initial three month period of regular contact.

"The emphasis is on education and self management, targeting both medical management and the important dietary and lifestyle changes. Additional group education sessions for whanau / family will be offered," she said.

"This is still in the early stages - the first 50 patients seen were all known to the diabetes service and we have just distributed information on referral criteria to GPs (attached).

"At the end of this month the plan is to formally review the first six months' results and plan accordingly."

Dr Fisher said she hoped to form stronger links with primary care and will work more closely with the GPs and their practice nurses - the possibility of clinics in the larger GP practices has been raised.

"At present, the outcomes we can measure are: blood sugar, blood pressure and lipid levels and patient assessment of usefulness. It will take between two to five years to show the effect on disease progression and whether this reduces our numbers coming onto dialysis programmes.

"There is now strong data on the "legacy effect" of tight blood sugar control early in the time course of diabetes, halving the later cardiovascular and nephropathy risks, even if the good blood sugar levels are not maintained," said Dr Fisher. Check our media releases on or

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