The Berlin Initiative Study (BIS) - Epidemiology of chronic kidney disease in elderly

Since 2010, the Berlin Initiative Study has been observing the development of kidney function in around 2,000 elderly patients. In 2018, the participants will be questioned and examined for the fifth time.

The aim of the BIS was to measure kidney function accurately with a gold standard method in a very large sample of participants above the age of 70 years. One outcome of the study is an equation that helps doctors estimate kidney function as precisely as possible. You can find a link to estimate the kidney function (GFR) here.

In the future, this means that we may be better able to recognize kidney problems earlier in the course of the disease, and medications could be dosed with greater precision and safety.

Another aim is to observe the natural course of kidney problems in older people, since little is known about this at the present time. With advancing age it is important to estimate kidney function as precisely as possible in order to predict the course of kidney disease. This will help to offer optimal medical treatment for each person with kidney problems.

Since January 2018, the participants have been interviewed and examined for the fifth time.

The Berlin Initiative Study is affiliated to the Institute of Public Health.

Functions of the kidneys

It is the job of the kidneys to clear toxins from our blood and excrete those substances into the urine. In most people, kidney function decreases steadily with increasing age.

For each person, it is important to know how severe this age-related loss of kidney function is. One example of the importance of accurately measuring kidney function is for the modification of dosing for medications that are eliminated by the kidneys. Also, in order to accurately determine the stage of a person's kidney disease, doctors have to be able to estimate kidney function as accurately as possible. Unfortunately, current methods of estimating kidney function at the age of 70 or above are not very reliable. This is what our study wants to improve.