A large-scale observational study of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is due to launch in general practices this month, involving 3,205 Oxfordshire residents and led by Oxford University researchers.

The two-year New onset Kidney Impairment (NewKI) study will work with 13 surgeries to investigate how people over the age of 60 progress from mild to more severe forms of CKD.

It is hoped that the study will help doctors to better identify and treat those at risk.

Kidney function declines slowly with age, and around 1 in 10 people have mild chronic kidney disease, which is linked with a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, heart failure and sudden death.

However, the researchers note that little is known about how many people in the UK have CKD, or the factors that increase someone’s risk of developing the condition and progressing onto its more severe forms.

The first phase of the research programme, launched in in November 2013, was designed to generate greater understanding about the incidence of CKD in the over 60s. The research team now aims to follow-up to investigate disease progression.

“There’s a real need for patients and clinicians to have more information about CKD,” said Dr Clare Taylor, a GP and NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.

“Only by understanding the disease can we provide better education about what CKD means for patients to help them to manage their condition day-to-day. The NewKI study will provide information on CKD which could enable GPs to identify those with the condition earlier so the risk of mild CKD progressing to a more severe form can be managed.”