Protein-energy wasting: prevalence and treatment outcomes among patients with advanced chronic kidney disease in British Columbia

People with or approaching kidney failure requiring dialysis often develop protein-energy wasting (PEW), which is characterized by loss of body stores of protein and energy fuels, and is associated with increased risk of death, heart disease, infections, and poor quality of life. The extent of PEW, its consequences, and its management have not been previously characterized among kidney patients in Canada, yet nutritional management remains a top research priority from the patient perspective.

Utilizing an existing database of chronic kidney disease patients in BC, the aims of the proposed study are:

  1. to determine the number and characteristics of adult kidney patients with PEW in BC, using several nutritional parameters and their changes over time to define PEW;
  2. to assess the impact of PEW treatment with nutritional supplementation (according to the BC Renal Nutritional Supplement Policy) on outcomes, including death, hospitalizations, nutritional lab parameters, and patient-reported functional status.

This research will:

  1. identify patients at risk of adverse outcomes from PEW in order to improve treatment policy and resource allocation, and
  2. inform future studies of dietary/self-management strategies for kidney patients