Kidney Week 2012, held in San Diego, is now history and as usual I like to reflect on the world’s biggest and most prestigious meeting for kidney specialists.

More than 4,000 studies were presented this year. It can be a daunting task to decide which ones to report on, but Renal & Urology News writers managed to select for coverage more than three dozen studies covering a wide range of nephrology topics. All of these articles are on our website. Some appear in this issue (on the cover and on pages 18 and 19), and others will appear in the January 2013 issue.

Among the articles I would like to highlight here is a report (on page 19) on a study showing that unhealthy diets are not associated with more rapid decline in renal function, at least in the short term. The study, which had more than 5,400 participants, had a five-year follow-up for kidney parameters, which the lead investigator Julie Lin, MD, MPH, acknowledged was a study limitation. The finding contrasts with that of the Nurses’ Health Study, which had 11 years of follow-up and demonstrated that an unhealthy “Western Pattern” diet was associated with more rapid kidney function decline. With longer follow-up, Dr. Lin said, it is possible that differences in renal outcomes could become apparent.

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I also would like to point out an article (on the cover) reporting on separate studies showing that chronic kidney disease increases a pregnant woman’s risk of death and women with a history of hypertensive pregnancy disorders, including pre-eclampsia, are at increased risk for renal disease later in life. Coincidentally, this issue has a Q&A interview with a nephrologist who specializes in treating pregnant CKD patients.

It is also noteworthy this year’s Renal Week had quite a few studies looking at trends in the use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) and intravenous (IV) iron in dialysis patients following ESA label changes and the January 1, 2011 debut of a prospective payment system (“bundling”) for dialysis-related services. Taken together, it seems clear from these studies that ESA use has decreased and IV iron use has increased, although it remains unclear how these trends are affecting patient outcomes.

We hope you enjoy this final print issue of 2012 and that you visit our website regularly for relevant medical news that is updated daily. Our website recently has been redesigned to make it easier to navigate and facilitate access to information. If you have any comments or suggestions, we would like to hear from you.