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New research to identify kidney disease early in high-risk communities

08 June 2021

Thanks to our funding in partnership with The Stoneygate Trust, Dr Kate Bramham at King’s College Hospital is researching whether a smartphone home urine test could detect protein and diagnose kidney disease early in communities that are harder to reach.

Detecting kidney disease early

Kidney disease is more common in minority ethnic communities and people living in deprived areas. It is often silent until it becomes serious, when treatment options are limited.

Having protein in the urine can be a sign of kidney disease, and high blood pressure is common in people with early kidney disease and in people from minority ethnic and socio-economically deprived communities.

Kate is researching new, cost-effective ways to detect kidney disease early, giving high-risk groups the opportunity to look after their kidney health.

Giving everybody the opportunity to look after their kidneys

This award of £209,041 will allow Kate and her team to investigate whether a smartphone home urine test in the community could help detect protein in the urine. They will test this in 2400 patients with high blood pressure from six GP practices in South London and identify kidney disease before it becomes more serious.

The team will also investigate whether using peer educators (people from the same community or ethnic background trained to provide information about health and care interventions) can encourage more patients to take part, particularly in groups that are harder to reach.

The study results will inform the design of a larger study to test whether this smartphone urine test approach holds the key to spotting kidney disease earlier and is cost effective enough to use across the country.

Kate said: “I am thrilled to get this funding! I strongly believe that this could be an important step to reducing ethnicity related health inequalities in kidney health. I am also really looking forward to learning from our expert peer educators about how to improve engagement and communication with our patients in harder-to-reach communities.”

Dr Kate Bramham
Dr Kate Bramham

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