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Country's first accredited CME course on chronic kidney disease launched

The CMA's newest online continuing medical education (CME) course tackles chronic kidney disease (CKD), a condition that affects 10-15% of North American adults and is growing more prevalent as the baby boom generation ages.

The new English-language CME module, which focuses on primary care for CKD patients and the referral of adult patients with abnormal kidney function, involves a collaboration between the CMA, the Canadian Society of Nephrology and Memorial University of Newfoundland. The course has been accredited by both the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and is available only to CMA members.

A background document for the course describes CKD as "an emerging public health problem" in Canada. "An aging population and the rapidly rising incidence of diabetes ensure that the prevalence of CKD and end stage renal failure will continue to grow over the coming years," it says. "There is also consensus in the nephrology community that CKD is underdiagnosed, suggesting that current statistics underestimate the true prevalence."

The background paper says 38,000 Canadians were living with kidney failure in 2009, compared with 11,000 in 1990. The largest increase occurred in older age groups, with prevalence rates escalating by more than 500% for those aged 75 and older. "The growth in the number of patients with CKD far exceeds the increase in renal disease specialists, pointing to the need to ensure that family physicians and others are well prepared to diagnose and manage the disease," it says.

The new course, which takes 1.5 hours to complete, is the first accredited CME course in Canada dealing with CKD. Registration details are available online.

Forward any comments about this article to: cmanews@cma.ca.