Project Overview

Indigenous people have a higher risk of CKD and kidney failure compared to the non-Indigenous population. This may be due to increased rates of diabetes, particularly in children, which can lead to CKD in early adulthood. In addition, many Indigenous people live in rural communities where there is limited access to doctors and appropriate health care services. As a result, many community members have to leave behind their homes and families in order to receive treatment. Therefore it is very important to diagnose CKD early, or catch those individuals at the highest risk, so that early treatments can help prevent CKD or stop the progression to kidney failure.

Our team will conduct a screening initiative in Indigenous communities in five provinces across Canada. Using mobile lab equipment, screening teams will travel to communities and test for CKD and its risk factors, including diabetes and high blood pressure. This information will be used to determine an individual’s risk of CKD, and each person will receive a treatment plan that is tailored to their risk. This may include counseling, treatment recommendations, an appointment with a doctor, or direct referral to a kidney specialist. This study will help to provide evidence to help develop a permanent CKD surveillance system in all Indigenous communities across Canada. This will help to decrease the burden of CKD and kidney failure in these communities. With correct treatment and continued follow-up, the number of Indigenous people with CKD will decline and fewer patients will progress to kidney failure requiring dialysis.

Kidney Check: Identifying kidney disease and diabetes in Indigenous communities

Project lead(s):

Dr. Aminu Bello

Patient lead(s):

Cathy Woods

Research theme(s):

Indigenous Health

Project video

Visual Abstract

Kidney Check visual abstract

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  • The Kidney Check program – championing patient-centered, culturally safe, preventive kidney care in Canada’s rural and remote Indigenous communities

    Journal of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine

    Curtis S, Collister D, Martin H, Sokoro AR, McLeod L, Chartrand C, Lavallee B, Woods C, Levin A, Komenda P.

    Research Project: Kidney Check

  • Kidney Check Point-of-Care Testing-Furthering Patient Engagement and Patient-Centered Care in Canada’s Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities: Program Report

    Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease

    Curtis S, Martin H, DiNella M, Lavallee B, Chartrand C, McLeod L, Woods C, Dart A, Tangri N, Rigatto C, Komenda P

    Research Project: Kidney Check

  • Impact of a screen, triage and treat program for identifying chronic disease risk in Indigenous children

    Canadian Medical Association Journal

    Frejuk KL, Harasemiw O, Komenda P, Lavallee B, McLeod L, Chartrand C, Di Nella M, Ferguson TW, Martin H, Wicklow B, Dart AB

    Research Project: Kidney Check

  • Impact of point-of-care screening for hypertension, diabetes and progression of chronic kidney disease in rural Manitoba Indigenous communities

    Canadian Medical Association Journal

    Harasemiw O, Ferguson T, Lavallee B, McLeod L, Chartrand C, Rigatto C, Tangri N, Dart A, Komenda P

    Research Project: Kidney Check


  • Addressing Inequities in Kidney Care for Indigenous People in Canada

    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

    Harasemiw O, Komenda P, Tangri N

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