(HealthDay News) — There is considerable heterogeneity in global kidney nutrition care, according to a study published online in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Angela Yee-Moon Wang, MD, PhD, from The University of Hong Kong, and colleagues administered an electronic survey among key kidney care stakeholders through 182 International Society of Nephrology-affiliated countries between July and September 2018.

Overall, 155 of the 160 countries that responded answered the survey items relating to kidney nutrition care. The researchers found that only 48% of the 155 countries have dietitians/renal dietitians to provide kidney nutrition care. Dietary counseling provided by a person trained in nutrition was generally not available and never available in 65% of low/low-middle income countries and 23% of low-income countries, respectively. Formal assessment of nutrition status for kidney nutrition care was not provided in 41% of the countries. There was global variation in the availability of oral nutrition supplements; for both inpatient and outpatient settings, they were mainly unavailable in low/lower-middle income countries. In 60% or more of countries, dietitians and nephrologists only communicated sometimes on kidney nutrition care.

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“The data call for a concerted effort to increase global advocacy for governmental allocation of resources and prioritization of kidney nutrition care services, to increase training of renal dietitians, to improve access to kidney nutrition care, and to promote more structured interdisciplinary communication between nephrologists and dietitians to improve global kidney nutrition care,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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