Dialysis patients usually take large numbers of tablets, often including phosphate binders. This can be quite a burden and medications can cause side effects.  That’s why here at LAKPA we’re happy to share this important piece of research with you which Lister Hospital is involved in and which is currently recruiting participants.

Lister Hospital are currently recruiting participants on to The PHOSPHATE Study (Pragmatic randomised study of High Or Standard PHosphAte Targets in End-stage kidney disease). The study will be assessing whether reducing phosphate levels leads to improved life expectancy, heart health and how patients feel or function. This will help us to better understand how important phosphate control and phosphate binders really are in people on dialysis.

Current research has identified an association between higher phosphate levels and the risk of heart disease and death. Therefore, current guidelines suggest reducing phosphate levels to the normal level (<1.5mmol/L).  However, it is unclear if strict phosphate control is always a good idea and the study aims to improve the evidence for these guidelines.

In the study, participants are randomly assigned to either a higher or lower phosphate target. Those randomised to a higher target phosphate will be asked to discontinued their phosphate binders, and they will only be reinstated if blood phosphate levels increase above 2.5mmol/L. Those randomised to a lower target will continue their phosphate binders and diet phosphate reduction in the normal way.

Who can be a participant in the study?

The study is looking to recruit 3,600 participants from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK. Around 2000 of these participants are expected to be from the 60 centres in the UK.

Any potential participants must meet the following inclusion criteria –

· Has been receiving haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis for at least 3 months

· Those aged 45 years and over, or those aged 18 and over with diabetes

· Currently prescribed a phosphate binder at any dose

What else would I need to do as a participant?

Enrolling on to the study requires no additional hospital visits or procedures. Your doctor/dietitian will advise you if any changes are needed to your medications or diet to achieve your target phosphate levels.

Study assessments will be collected from routinely held data, e.g. from the UK Renal Registry and Hospital Episode Statistics.

You will be asked to complete a short six-monthly questionnaire about your quality of life which includes the following topics: Mobility, Self-care, Usual Activities, Pain and Discomfort, Anxiety and Depression. This should only take around five minute to complete, and the study team will contact you when the questionnaire is due for completion.

How long is the study likely to last?

The average time a participant will remain in the study is four and a half years, but the study may continue for up to seven years.

If you would like to request more information about being a participant for this study, please ask to be contacted by the Renal Research team at Lister Hospital.