Study to assess impact of bicarbonate on kidney disease and acidosis
News release from NETSCC, HTA
24 May 2012
Research funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme is to examine whether sodium bicarbonate can improve function and quality of life in older patients with chronic kidney disease and low-grade acidosis.
New reporting techniques have seen an increase in the number of patients diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD). It is now estimated that about one in five men and one in four women between the age of 65 and 74 has some degree of CKD.
Accumulation of acids is common in CKD. Although there is currently little evidence available about its effectiveness and safety, oral sodium bicarbonate is commonly used to lower the level of acidity in the blood.
The study, led by Dr Miles Witham, Senior Lecturer in Ageing and Health at the University of Dundee, will recruit 380 patients over the age of 65 with advanced CKD, but not undergoing dialysis. Half of them will receive oral sodium bicarbonate and half a placebo. Participants will be enrolled in the trial for two years.
Commenting on the project, Dr Witham said: “As yet research has not discovered whether the use of oral sodium bicarbonate in treating acidosis and chronic kidney disease leads to greater benefits than harms, especially in older, frail patients. “ He adds: “While answering this question we aim to reflect a patient-oriented approach, centring on the outcomes most important to older people, namely physical function and quality of life.”
The team will use the Short Physical Performance Battery assessment as its primary measure to record the physical function of participants, supported by other quality of life measures and an evaluation of whether the intervention can have an effect on patients’ progression onto dialysis.
Notes for editors
1. The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) Programme funds research about the effectiveness, costs, and broader impact of health technologies for those who use, manage and provide care in the NHS. It is the largest NIHR programme and publishes the results of its research in the Health Technology Assessment journal, with over 600 issues published to date. The journal’s 2011 Impact Factor (4.255) ranked it in the top 10% of medical and health-related journals. All issues are available for download, free of charge, from the website. The HTA Programme is funded by the NIHR, with contributions from the CSO in Scotland, NISCHR in Wales, and the HSC R&D Division, Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland. www.hta.ac.uk.
2. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website (www.nihr.ac.uk).
Paul Davey, Programme Manager (Communications)
Telephone: 02380 595 4309, Email: P.A.Davey@southampton.ac.uk