Launch of new research project
KIDNEY disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are becoming all too common diagnoses for every-day Australians and many patients often suffer from a multitude of these conditions at once.
Kawana based doctor Professor Nick Gray last week launched a research project in conjunction with the dietetics department at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
The study will investigate the level of understanding patients with kidney have of nutrition and how they utilise that knowledge to manage their associated conditions.
“Patients always ask ‘what can I do with my diet to help with my kidney problems or with my health in general’,” Dr Gray said.
“What we are trying to gain an understanding of from this research is, what do they understand about diet and kidney disease and what are the relevant things for people to learn, it will help us best educate people going forward.”
Over 100 patients will participate by giving a 24-hour urine sample while also filling out a detailed questionnaire of their nutritional knowledge.
Dr Gray is currently screening for participants, a process he said will take up to six months.
The research project is non-intrusive or timeconsuming for participants and Dr Gray said this will ensure patients are engaged in the research.
The results of the study should be concluded next year giving both dieticians and doctors a greater understanding of what information they need to pass onto their patients and which treatments will be most effective.
“One example, if we can lower let’s say salt, then blood pressure tablets tend to work better then people who are on a high salt diet,” he said.
“And we know that better blood pressure control can help to prevent the kidney disease getting worse with time.”