Results from a study that examined the value of medical ID bracelets among patients with chronic kidney disease showed the devices did not reduce safety events but helped reduce progression toward kidney failure.
“Since CKD is not often apparent to providers without appropriate blood testing, we thought providing patients with a medical-alert accessory with indication of their CKD might serve as an alert to their special care needs,” Jeffrey Fink, MD, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said in a press release about the study. “We were hoping to show that provision of the accessory might show a reduction in adverse safety events, but this was not the case in this relatively small sample. So any potential reduction in poor outcomes associated with the medical alert accessory did not appear to be mediated through a reduction in safety events. However, this pilot study suggests that provision of the medical-alert accessory has the potential to lead to improved outcomes, like reduced incidence of end-stage kidney disease.”
The study had 350 patients, primarily in CKD stages 2 through 5. Those who wore the bracelet or necklace had a 62% lower risk of developing kidney failure, based on eGFR. There was no significant difference in rates of hospitalization or death in those who did vs. those who did not wear medical-alert accessories, the researchers reported.
The median follow-up of pilot and observation groups were 4.3 and 3.1 years, respectively.
“All participants underwent annual in-center visits, 6-month telephone calls between visits until June 30, 2016, and were followed to the earliest time of ESKD, death or
study withdrawal,” the authors noted. Participants were asked to wear the medical-alert accessory as the condition for pilot participation. At both the 6-month telephone and annual in-center visits, data were collected including concomitant medications, patient-reported safety events and medical events (including hospitalizations), onset of ESKD and death as reported by next of kin. –by Mark E. Neumann
Disclosures: The study in this paper was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, R01 DK084017; University of Maryland, Baltimore, Institute for Clinical & Translational Research and the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Medicine, Summer Program in Obesity, Diabetes, and Nutrition Research Training (SPORT), T35-DK095737. Medical-alert accessories were donated by American Medical ID, Houston.