Research Activities

Renal Medicine Overview | Clinical Services | Medical Education | Research

Our Research programme in Nephrology has multiple strands that focus on clinical epidemiology of kidney disease, clinical trials for slowing disease progression, and the genetics of kidney disease. Our group has published on treatment strategies for end-stage renal disease; cardiovascular health and cardiovascular risk assessment in chronic kidney disease; disparities in healthcare provision; and more recently the application of IT communications systems in clinical and epidemiological research.  Our team has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), American Heart Association, National Kidney Foundation, and more recently by the Irish Health Research Board (HRB) (http://www.hrb.ie/).  The research output from our department continues to grow with over 25 international conference presentations and publications in 2012/2013 as well as 4 research awards.

Research themes include

  1. Burden of kidney disease in the Irish Health System
  2. Progression of Kidney Disease in the Irish Health System
  3. Quality of Care in Chronic Kidney disease and its determinants
  4. Disparities in Healthcare Delivery
  5. Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Outcomes in End Stage Kidney Disease
  6. Dialysis strategies in the treatment of kidney failure
  7. Inflammation, Bone Mineral Abnormalities and Chronic Kidney Disease

Each year we offer 1-2 clinical tutors/research fellows the opportunity to join our programme and benefit from our research team and programme. Successful individuals are urged to pursue an MD thesis in a research area while developing skills in study design, database management, biostatistics and statistical modelling. Our post graduate students have access to several large scale datasets including the United States Renal Data System(http://www.usrds.org/) and the National Health and Nutrition Surveys (NHANES) (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes.htm).

Our research team also benefits from strong collaborations with:

Recent Publications

BioMed Central open access article

Prevalence and variation of Chronic Kidney Disease in the Irish health system: initial findings from the National Kidney Disease Surveillance Programme

Austin G Stack*, Liam F Casserly, Cornelius J Cronin, Tetyana Chernenko, Walter Cullen, Ailish Hannigan, Rajiv Saran, Howard Johnson, Gemma Browne and John P Ferguson. Prevalence and variation of Chronic Kidney Disease in the Irish health system: initial findings from the National Kidney Disease Surveillance Programme

Background: Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a major non-communicable chronic disease that is associated with adverse clinical and economic outcomes. Passive surveillance systems are likely to improve efforts for prevention of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and inform national service planning. This study was conducted to determine the overall prevalence of CKD in the Irish health system, assess period trends and explore patterns of variation as part of a novel surveillance initiative. Download Prevalence and variation of Chronic Kidney Disease in the Irish health system: initial findings from the National Kidney Disease Surveillance Programme.pdf (size 539.9 KB)

biomarkers in medicine cover

Transferrin saturation ratio: a method to estimate risk of cardiovascular mortality in the general population?

Austin G Stack, Waleed Mohamed, & Mohamed Elsayed. Transferrin saturation ratio: a method to estimate risk of cardiovascular mortality in the general population? Biomarkers in Medicine, Vol. 8, No. 7, Pages 913-915 , DOI 10.2217/bmm.14.70 (doi:10.2217/bmm.14.70)

Background: Cardiovascular disease remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Evidence has linked abnormalities of iron metabolism to higher rates of all-cause and cardiovascular death in at-risk populations. The evidence is not conclusive but there are enough published data to suggest that measures of iron status in subjects may serve as an early signal for premature cardiovascular disease and mortality, and should be considered as a potential cardiovascular biomarker.

Plasma fibrinogen associates independently with total and cardiovascular mortality among subjects with normal and reduced kidney function in the general population

A.G. Stack, U. Donigiewicz, A.A. Abdalla, A. Weiland, L.F. Casserly, C.J. Cronin, H.T. Nguyen and A. Hannigan. Plasma fibrinogen associates independently with total and cardiovascular mortality among subjects with normal and reduced kidney function in the general population QJM(2014)doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hcu057.

Background: The contribution of novel risk factors to mortality in chronic kidney disease remains controversial. Aim: To explore the association of plasma fibrinogen with mortality among individuals with normal and reduced kidney function.

Transferrin Saturation Ratio and Risk of Total and Cardiovascular Mortality in the General Population

Stack AG, Mutwali AI, Nguyen HT, Cronin CJ, Casserly LF, Ferguson J, Transferrin Saturation Ratio and Risk of Total and Cardiovascular Mortality in the General Population QJM(2014)doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hcu045.

Background: The transferrin saturation (TSAT) ratio is a commonly used indicator of iron deficiency and iron overload in clinical practice but precise relationships with total and cardiovascular mortality are unclear. Purpose: To better understand this relationship, we explored the association of TSAT ratio (serum iron/total iron binding capacity) with mortality in the general population.

Pulmonary Congestion in Hemodialysis: An Old Chestnut Worth Screening For?

Stack AG, Casserly LF. Pulmonary congestion in Hemodialysis: An old chestnut worth screening for? Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2013 (online July 11th 2013 doi:10.2215/CJN.06210613).

Declining Mortality Rates despite Increases in Clinical Coronary Artery Disease among US Dialysis Patients: A National Registry Study

Stack AG, Nealon AM, Abdalla AA, Hegarty A, Hannigan A, Cronin CJ, Nguyen HT, Casserly LF, Hannigan A. Declining mortality rates despite increases in clinical coronary artery disease among U.S. Dialysis Patients: A National Registry Study. Am J Nephrol 2013;38(1):66-74 (epub ahead of print)

Background/Aims: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a major risk factor for death on dialysis. The objective of this study was to compare prevalent trends and patterns of survival in successive national cohorts.

Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel

Independent and conjoint associations of gout and hyperuricaemia with total and cardiovascular mortality

Stack AG, Hanley A, Casserly, LF, Cronin, CJ, Abdalla AA, Kiernan, TF, Murthy BVR, Hegarty A, Hannigan A, Nguyen H: Independent and conjoint associations of gout and hyperuricaemia with total and cardiovascular mortality.  QJM 2013 106 (7): 647-658.

Background: Gout and serum uric acid are associated with mortality but their simultaneous contributions have not been fully evaluated in the general population. Purpose: To explore the independent and conjoint relationships of gout and uric acid with mortality in the US population.

The Impact of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Smoking on Mortality and Kidney Transplantation in End-Stage Kidney Disease

Kent BD, Woodman, A, Elhadi, E, Mutwali, A, Nguyen, H, Stack AG. The impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on mortality and kidney transplantation in end-stage kidney disease. Am J Nephrol. 2012 Sep 7; 36(3):287-295

Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and tobacco use are leading causes of morbidity and mortality. The prevalence and clinical impact of COPD on mortality and kidney transplantation among patients who begin dialysis therapy is unclear.