December 10, 2019
2 min read

Southwest Nephrology-Cardio Renal Metabolic Conference focuses on inhibitors, dialysis and cross-specialty care

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Janani Rangaswami

Under the leadership of President Peter McCullough, MD, The Cardio Renal Society of America’s mission is to prevent and manage three potentially chronic conditions that often coexist: kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Developed as a partnership between the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona and the Cardiorenal Society of America, the 2020 Southwest Nephrology Conference and Cardio Renal Metabolic Conference will bring together cardiologists (notably those specializing in heart failure), nephrologists, family medicine practitioners, internal medicine specialists and advanced practitioners from a variety of related subspecialties.

“Like its name, the society brings together cardiologists and nephrologists in the cardiorenal space where there is an intersection of disease across both these specialties,” Janani Rangaswami MD, FACP, FCRS, a nephrologist with the Einstein Healthcare Network, Philadelphia, and vice president of the CRSA, told Healio Nephrology in an exclusive conference preview. “This is a growing space because the burden of heart disease continues to rise and people with heart disease have a huge burden of kidney disease (and vice versa). Every year, we have more people who understand the relevance of cardiorenal medicine and join the meeting.”

Rangaswami said one of the highlights of the meeting will be discussions on the role SGLT-2 inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists play in reducing the burden of heart and kidney disease since new data from a variety of “high quality” randomized trials have demonstrated a beneficial effect of these antidiabetic agents on cardiorenal conditions.

A session will also address the problem of fragmented care across specialties. Rangaswami pointed out the difficulties faced by primary care physicians in coordinating multidisciplinary care between specialists, including different health systems and electronic medical records, as well as patients being unable to see certain specialists due to financial constraints. In this environment, “many issues get missed,” she said. The session is meant to approach this problem by offering “pragmatic ways to improve multidisciplinary care for these patients.”


Further, in conjunction with the goals of Advancing American Kidney Health, the meeting will include sessions devoted to the importance of increasing the proportion of patients who transfer from in-center dialysis to home-based therapies. According to Rangaswami, the CRSA welcomed the initiative as the “typical 3-times-a-week dialysis model is clearly not sustainable for either patients or CMS.” She argued that, in addition to being patient-friendly, home dialysis improves cardiovascular health and quality of life.

Finally, Rangaswami stressed the significance of disease awareness, noting that “Many Americans with [chronic kidney disease] CKD have no idea they have it until it’s very late and most of the disease is irreversible.” She noted the CRSA can meaningfully engage in the Advancing American Kidney Health mandate to increase CKD awareness which will, in part, be done through the education and discussions at the meeting.

The 2020 conference will be held at the We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center in Scottsdale/Fort McDowell, Arizona, on March 6 and 7. Healio Nephrology will be providing live coverage. – by Melissa J. Webb

Disclosure: Rangaswami reports no relevant financial disclosures.