What You Need to Know for National Kidney Month

Your kidneys might not be your largest organ, but don’t underestimate their role in your health. They regulate your body fluids and blood pressure, keep your bones healthy, process vitamin D, and control your red blood cell production.

Key Highlights

Raising awareness is an important step in treating kidney disease. Join us for National Kidney Month to learn more about how new research has already improved diagnosis and treatment for kidney disease patients. PRA has the information you need to understand kidney disease and to put together the best clinical trial for your new drug.

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PRA Health Sciences
PRA Health Sciences

During National Kidney Month in March, PRA Health Sciences is focusing on helping people understand how kidneys impact overall health, from immunity to cardiovascular function. Kidney disease can show up in unexpected ways, so if you pay attention to symptoms, you will detect kidney disease early, leading to more effective treatment.

PRA has renal and nephrology experts who work to bring better solutions to kidney disease patients. We help people learn about their kidney health throughout National Kidney Month and beyond. Our goal is to create more understanding of how kidneys function so that you can recognize cause for concern early.

Why Do We Need Kidney Awareness?

According to the CDC, 15% of adults in the United States have chronic kidney disease (CKD), and 9 out of 10 people don’t even know they have it. If individuals are unaware of kidney disease, they won’t know how to identify the symptoms associated with it. Beyond that, CKD sometimes has no symptoms at first, which delays the discovery and treatment of the condition.

If you understand how kidney disease affects your body, you will know when to consult a doctor about your symptoms, and confirm whether you are at risk quicker. If you have mild or no symptoms at first, you may not know your condition requires treatment. Look for these signs that you may have kidney trouble:

  • Swelling in abdomen or extremities
  • Bloody or foamy urine
  • Eye puffiness
  • Pain or difficulty passing urine
  • Fatigue
  • Increased thirst

Kidney disease can lead to other problems throughout the body, including cardiovascular disease and heart attacks, weak bones, and nerve damage. If you detect kidney disease early, medical professionals will be able to offer more treatment options so that you can improve your quality of life long-term. Spreading kidney awareness supports people with kidney disease by opening doors to better treatment, which we work to do every day at PRA.

How Far Have We Come with Kidney Research and Treatment?

At PRA, our renal and nephrology experts have participated in several clinical trials that have given people the resources to help them live the life they want. Our experts have partnered with our Early Patient Solutions team to create better technology to use in trials and beyond so more patients have access to treatments.

Today, we use several types of treatments and therapies for kidney disease, and researchers across the world continue to find innovative ways to identify and treat it. For example, researchers in Ireland recently discovered genetic changes that affect whether someone may get polycystic kidney disease.

There’s also a link between socioeconomic status and kidney disease. It’s been suggested that health care providers should consider incorporating knowledge about neighborhood-level social determinants of health when they are assessing their patients.

Claudia Mano MD, MS, Senior Medical Director, Medical Affairs, Endocrinology, Americas, states, "We need more awareness not just to provide better treatment but because it helps prevent chronic illnesses where people lack the resources they need to thrive. Drawing attention to how a lack of basic resources, like healthy food and housing, impacts long-term health only emphasizes how important it is to get those resources to low-income areas.”

PRA has worked with many partners to improve studies for kidney disease. By collaborating with Early Patient Solutions, we create guidelines and plans for kidney studies so that more researchers and medical experts have the resources necessary to conduct more successful clinical trials.

PRA has performed over 50 renal studies so far. We have two Clinical Research Units (CRUs), as well as established relationships with study sites to facilitate high-quality studies. Our team of experts work with labs and researchers to collect the most accurate data, and we’ll work with you to create a solution specific to your study.

Learn more about our renal impairment capabilities.

What Are We Working on for the Future of Kidney Research?

Most recently, researchers have put the focus on stem cell research, molecular biology and genetic research, machine learning, and engaging patients and collaborators to ensure that we keep progress focused and continuous. We are making regular progress, and technology has assisted us in making strides in a few specific areas of kidney research.

Researchers are currently working to determine the relationship between acute kidney injury (AKI) and CKDs. For that, we need biopsy specimens. We also use machine learning, single-cell technology, and advanced molecular imaging to help us analyze on a more specific and individualized level. This technology has so far helped us discover subgroups of diseases, which increases the understanding of medical professionals and provides more resources to patients.

We rely on more advanced technology to help us learn about kidney disease and study kidney cells. This technology helps us establish links between genetics, injury, and other factors that contribute to kidney disease.

PRA Health Sciences’ Early Development Services (EDS) has established a team dedicated to early phase patient studies. Our Early Patient Solutions (EPS) group has a unique combination of scientific, medical, and operational capabilities that enable us to conduct studies in patients with renal impairment. To learn how PRA’s renal and nephrology experts are working toward more solutions and awareness for kidney disease, contact us.

Learn more about our early phase solutions.

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