End-Stage Kidney Disease and COVID-19: Our Studies

Posted by: DaVita Clinical Research

In the age of COVID-19, many things in our daily lives have changed to accommodate and maintain health. This shift has been especially true for the renal industry, as the patients treated for chronic kidney disease are at a greater risk for complications from COVID-19.

However, along with maintaining the health of those with chronic kidney disease, DaVita Clinical Research (DCR) is studying this population of patients to better understand the virus and help the future of not only the renal industry, but the health industry as a whole. To better understand how this chameleon of a virus affects the most vulnerable populations, we are conducting two studies.

End-Stage Kidney Disease and COVID-19 Studies

Study 1: Tracking Antibodies in ESKD Patients

The first study, Registry of Sustained Immunity to COVID-19 among ESKD Patients, is looking at 2,500 dialysis patients to track antibody mitigation and COVID-19 within the ESKD population. These subjects will be initially tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Subjects will then be monitored for four months to look for incidences of COVID-19 and the severity in which symptoms might present. With the required frequency of clinic visits and inability to shelter in place due to dialysis needs, these patients are at a higher risk of contracting the virus, but also easier to monitor for the presence of COVID-19.

Study 2: COVID-19 Severity & Genetics

The second study, COVID-19 Progression in ESKD, examines the genetic predisposition of the severity in which individuals with ESKD might contract COVID-19. With 1,000 patients at a minimum, this study looks at asymptomatic and symptomatic patients.  The goal is to understand how genetics relates to the patients’ susceptibility and severity of contracting COVID-19.

The Benefits of Studying Renal Disease & COVID-19

Better understanding how this novel disease impacts dialysis patients will give light into how this disease may affect those who are healthy or with other underlying medical conditions. The dialysis and chronic kidney disease population have been hit hard.  Half of the individuals hospitalized in Washington have had chronic kidney disease, and the first two recorded deaths from COVID-19 were dialysis patients. Utilizing this population to better understand the disease will assist in bettering the renal industry’s ability to improve and maintain patient health and safety, and our broader understanding COVID-19. To learn more about how DaVita Clinical Research is spearheading essential renal research during COVID-19, read about our work.