Major NWO grant for research with home tests

The NWO provides €3.8 million subsidy for a study partly initiated by UMCG nephrologist Ron Gansevoort. 160,000 people from Breda, Utrecht, Arnhem and Eindhoven are invited to participate in this study. The aim of this national study is to determine whether it is possible to detect heart, vascular and kidney diseases and diabetes at an early stage using special home tests. The new research builds on previous results of the Groningen Prevend and NierCheck studies, among others. The research will last 5 years and has a total budget of 8.9 million euro. 

In the Netherlands there is no structured national approach for the early detection of cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney damage and type 2 diabetes. A large proportion of people with these conditions are not aware of having the disease, because these conditions are often present without obvious symptoms. If not detected and treated early, these diseases can lead to serious complications such as kidney failure, stroke, myocardial infarction, or heart failure. These complications have a major impact on the quality of life of individuals, the participation of individuals in society and premature death.

Home test for 160,000 participants

In the new Check@Home study, a total of 160,000 people between the ages of 50 and 75 from Breda, Utrecht, Arnhem and Eindhoven are invited to participate in the study, which focuses on home testing. They can participate via the digital Check@Home platform. The home tests will include a urine test, a heart rhythm test and a questionnaire. If early signs of cardiovascular disease, kidney damage or diabetes are present, a follow-up examination will be arranged at a regional diagnostic center. If necessary, participants receive lifestyle advice and medication to relieve the burden of regular care as much as possible.

Follow-up to the Prevend and NierCheck study

The Check@Home study builds on a number of studies previously carried out by the UMCG. The Prevend study showed that the presence of protein in urine is a signal of kidney damage and predicts cardiovascular disease. These results have been confirmed by the international CKD Prognosis Consortium, partly led by the University Medical Center Groningen. This caused a review of the globally applicable classification of chronic kidney damage, in which protein loss in urine has been given an important place. These results were the basis for the NierCheck study. This research was recently conducted in Breda. It showed that the Dutch population is willing to participate in a study with a home test. It also showed that screening the population for protein loss in the urine identifies people with undiscovered risk factors for chronic kidney damage and cardiovascular disease who would benefit from treatment. Because so much research in this area has already been done in Groningen, the new study is now taking place in four other cities.

Consortium Check@Home

Nephrologist Ron Gansevoort from UMC Groningen and cardiologist Folkert Asselbergs from UMC Utrecht set up the research consortium Check@Home together with colleagues from the Dutch Cardiovascular Alliance. The aim of this national consortium is to set up a roadmap and infrastructure for an accessible and (cost) effective national program for the early detection and treatment of people with chronic diseases. Home tests are a central topic in this program. In the Check@Home project, several Dutch UMCs and universities work together with the Heart Foundation, Kidney Foundation and Diabetes Fund. In addition, several private parties are involved in the implementation of the project. In total, approximately €8.9 million is available for this project, of which NWO is now providing €3.8 million.