It is increasingly recognised that there are differences between men and women in regard to chronic kidney disease (CKD). It appears to be more common in women and they have a shorter survival compared to women in the general population. It is unclear 1) whether these differences are due to biological factors like hormones or due to differences in the quality of clinical care within health systems and 2) whether gender differences in major complications of CKD can be explained by variation in baseline health or in care delivery.
To better understand this problem, we will compare the health of women and men with CKD in a cohort study. It is our view that the excess morbidity and mortality in women over men develops during the progression of CKD and the emergence of specific metabolic complications, and is characterised by high rates of cardiovascular events and low rates of coronary interventions. The Kidney Research Consortium at the University of Limerick (UL) will leverage the strengths of the Kidney Disease Surveillance System (KDSS) to create two contemporary cohorts (groups) of CKD in the Irish health system. We will examine the influence of gender on CKD burden, progression, and metabolic complications, and quantify its contribution to major clinical events. Comprehensive surveillance on demographic and clinical data recorded prior to major outcomes will be facilitated through core datasets that capture hospitalisation, dialysis and mortality.
This programme of research will provide new insights into differences in major outcomes between men and women with CKD and serve to inform all Knowledge Users on key determinants. We anticipate that our findings will lead to new policy decisions and actionable initiatives to reduce health disparities and foster more Gender-Inclusive health planning.