Chronic diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States. They result in long-term and permanent disability for millions of Americans, with serious quality-of-life consequences for them and their families, and with enormous economic consequences for individuals, health plans, and the country.
A division of the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, the Chronic Disease Research Group (CDRG) investigates public health issues related to chronic illness and its treatment. CDRG seeks to improve public health and to influence health policy, healthcare providers, and health plans by helping industry planners better understand and respond to patient needs.
CDRG was founded in 1995 as Nephrology Analytical Services. Under the leadership of MMRF investigator Allan J. Collins, MD, FACP, the research agenda has expanded beyond kidney disease to include other chronic conditions. Clinical specialists in cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, dementia, diabetes, end-stage renal disease (ESRD), geriatrics, nephrology, and pharmacy work with epidemiologists and biostatisticians to analyze disease conditions and evaluate the effects of treatment on morbidity, survival, quality of life, and healthcare costs.
Work performed by CDRG is funded in part by research grants from industry sponsors. Under a federal contract, CDRG investigators and staff alsoprovide biostatistical, epidemiological, and information systems expertise, andconduct research, serving as the Coordinating Center and Cardiovascular Disease Special Studies Center for the United States Renal Data System (USRDS).
As part of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, the USRDS collects, analyzes, and distributes information about incidence, prevalence, treatment, morbidity, and mortality associated with ESRD in the U.S. The Coordinating Center is responsible for reporting this information along with hospitalization rates, transplantation rates, and ESRD-associated costs. The Cardiovascular Disease Special Studies Center, headed by Charles A. Herzog, MD, studies the relationship between heart disease and ESRD, and the effectiveness, costs, and benefits of treatment methods.
Through CDRG and the USRDS, MMRF researchers will continue to advance knowledge in an effort to reduce both the suffering and the expense that chronic conditions cause.