THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES of Health has awarded a $6.7-million contract to create what it hopes will be the most comprehensive epidemiologic profile of end-stage renal disease yet devised. Canada, Japan, some European nations, and at least one state in this country are among those that already collect such information about patients with kidney disease.
The five-year project, called the US Renal Data System, is being funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, Md. Its goal is to collect data about all of the approximately 130 000 Americans who now undergo dialysis or have had kidney transplants because of chronic kidney failure.
The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) now collects general information about the dialysis and transplant recipients whose care it reimburses each year. This information includes when renal failure occurred, why kidney function was lost, and hospital admissions, says Philip Held, PhD. (Held is