Nephrologists may need more training in women's health issues

October 26, 2018

HighlightsSan Diego, CA (October 26, 2018) -- Many kidney specialists many need more training and support when it comes to managing women's health issues, according to a study that will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2018 October 23-October 28 at the San Diego Convention Center.

A broad range of women's health issues are intimately related to kidney disease, yet little is known about clinicians' confidence in these issues. To investigate, Monica Reynolds, MD (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Elizabeth Hendren, MD (University of Toronto) and their colleagues sent a 25-question survey to nephrologists in the United States and Canada.

Of the 154 respondents, 58% were from the United States, 53% were women, and the median age was 41- 45 years. Most nephrologists counseled on contraception (65%) or pre-conception planning (76%) to an average of less than one woman per month, though counseling was more frequent in the United States. Nephrologists often lacked confidence managing many women's health issues including menstrual disorders, contraception, osteoporosis and menopause. While female providers were more confident in counseling about contraception (42% vs. 23%), there were no other significant differences in confidence level based on gender or country of practice. Physicians also reported inconsistent documentation of obstetric history even though factors during pregnancy are clinically important for assessing a woman's risk of cardiovascular disease.

"It is our hope that by highlighting these gaps we can target future interventions to improve patient-centered care for women with chronic kidney disease," said Dr. Reynolds. "Further research is warranted to develop tools to increase knowledge in training, identify best mechanisms to enhance physician confidence, and facilitate formation of interdisciplinary clinics."
Study: "Confidence in Women's Health: An International Survey of Nephrologists"

ASN Kidney Week 2018, the largest nephrology meeting of its kind, will provide a forum for more than 13,000 professionals to discuss the latest findings in kidney health research and engage in educational sessions related to advances in the care of patients with kidney and related disorders. Kidney Week 2018 will take place October 23 - October 28 at the San Diego Convention Center.  

Since 1966, ASN has been leading the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients. ASN has more than 20,000 members representing 131 countries. For more information, please visit

American Society of Nephrology

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