Establishing a renal management clinic in China: initiative, challenges, and opportunities

Int Urol Nephrol. 2008;40(4):1053-8. doi: 10.1007/s11255-008-9450-8. Epub 2008 Sep 3.


Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been identified as a growing global burden and traditional health care systems are inadequate for the management of CKD patients. This paper describes an initiative to establish a renal management clinic (RMC) in China and discusses the challenges and opportunities in the management of CKD patients.

Subjects and methods: We collected and analyzed the data for the first 1,000 CKD patients treated since the establishment of the RMC (from April 2006 to April 2007). They had CKD stages 1-4 and stage 5 (before dialysis), as described by the Kidney Outcome Quality Initiatives (KDOQI). They were managed at the RMC established at the Peking University Third Hospital, by a multidisciplinary team (nephrologists, nurses, and dietitians) who developed care plans, clinical pathways, and a multidimensional patient-education program.

Results: The most frequent causes of CKD among these 1,000 patient were glomerulonephritis (35%), hypertensive nephrosclerosis (19%), chronic interstitial nephritis (13%), and diabetic nephropathy (11%). Six percent of the patients had stage 1 CKD, 27% stage 2, 33% stage 3, 20% stage 4, and 13% had stage 5. Five hundred and fifty-four were male and 446 were female; mean age was 55 +/- 18.9 years (range 18-92 years). Seven hundred and seventy patients (77%) had hypertension; 400 patients (40%) had body mass index (BMI) equal to or higher than 25 kg/m(2); 180 (18%) had overt cardiovascular disease; 726 (72.6%) had low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol higher than 2.6 mmol/l; 440 patients (44%) had hyperuriemia; and 274 patients (27.4%) had anemia (hemoglobin <110 g/l). Although the team is multidisciplinary, management of the patients in the RMC is undertaken mainly by nephrologists, whereas nurses and dietitians still do not play an important role. There are no family doctors in China and nephrologists are responsible for management of these patients' kidney disease and related complications.

Conclusions: Our findings show that the prevalence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, overweight. and hyperuricemia is high among Chinese CKD population. Nurses and dietitians do not yet play an important role in the present pattern of RMC. We believe that the present medical care model should be revised because it does not address the concerns of CKD patients and their need for lifestyle changes that would help them to cope with their chronic condition.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / organization & administration*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Critical Pathways
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Prevalence