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Kevin Yau, MD

Supervisor(s):  Ron Wald, David Cherney
Award:  KRESCENT Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Institution:  University of Toronto
Year:  2022-2025

Study title:  GLP-1 Receptor Agonists in Patients Receiving Maintenance Dialysis

Dr. Kevin Yau received his medical degree from the University of Toronto in 2016 and subsequently completed Internal Medicine training at Western University. He returned to Toronto for Nephrology Fellowship and graduated in 2021. He is currently completing a Cardiac, Renal, Endocrinology Multidisciplinary Fellowship and training in Clinical Epidemiology & Health Care Research as an Eliot Phillipson Scholar in the University of Toronto Clinician-Scientist Training Program. His research as a KRESCENT post-doctoral fellow will be focused on evaluating therapies for patients with cardiac and kidney disease including glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists.

Lay Summary
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in Canada, and the number of people living with end-stage kidney disease has grown by 35% since 2009. New medications including a class of medications called glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists have been developed for the treatment of diabetes. These medications have been shown to improve blood sugar control, reduce blood pressure, and promote weight loss. Most importantly, large studies have shown that these medications also prevent people with diabetes from dying from cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in people receiving long-term dialysis. Despite this, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists have not been well studied in people living with advanced kidney disease. Therefore, it is currently unknown whether people on dialysis will benefit from this medication. This pilot study will randomize dialysis patients with diabetes to either receive a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist or placebo. This randomized controlled trial will be the first step in determining if glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists can be used safely in people with end-stage kidney disease. This will allow for a definitive study to be designed to answer whether these medications are effective in preventing events such as heart attacks and strokes in people with end-stage kidney disease.