Benjamin Lidgard, MD
Benjamin Lidgard, MD
2022 Ben J. Lipps Research Fellowship Award
Institution: University of Washington
Project Title: Medical Rate Versus Rhythm Control for the Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation in Dialysis Patients
How would you sum up your research in one sentence?
We will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the two most common strategies used to treat atrial fibrillation in patients with kidney failure on dialysis.
Provide a brief overview of the research you will conduct with help from the grant.
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart arrhythmia seen in patients with kidney failure on maintenance dialysis, and is associated with greatly increased risk of mortality in this population. Despite the unique physiology of patients with kidney failure on dialysis, and data suggesting that general population trials cannot be generalized to patients with kidney failure, the two most common medical strategies to treat atrial fibrillation have not been studied specifically in dialysis patients. We will use data from the well-characterized ATRIA-CKD cohort to evaluate the safety and efficacy of rate and rhythm control strategies in patients with kidney failure on maintenance dialysis with incident atrial fibrillation.
What impact do you hope your research will have on patients?
It is my hope that this research could allow patients with kidney failure on dialysis and atrial fibrillation to live longer, healthier lives.
What are your career goals at the end of the grant period? Five years out? Ten years out?
By the end of the grant period, I hope to have produced several peer-reviewed manuscripts detailing the findings of our proposed work, and to have submitted an application for a career development award. Five years from the end of the grant period, I hope to be wrapping up a career development award and preparing to transition to an independent physician-scientist. Ten years from the end of the grant period, I hope to be an independently funded physician-scientist researching cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease and kidney failure on dialysis.
What inspired you to focus your research in this area?
Cardiovascular disease, including cardiac arrhythmias, is the leading cause of death among patients with kidney failure on dialysis and is very common in this population. Depending on the study, up to 25% of patients with kidney failure on dialysis may have atrial fibrillation, an arrhythmia which doubles the risk of 1-year mortality in patients with kidney failure on dialysis. I have seen many patients with these concurrent diagnoses over the course of my medical training and hope with this work to make a positive impact on the lives of similar patients.
What advice would you give to others to encourage them to apply for this grant funding?
The grant application process was comparably straightforward, and the grant itself provides generous funding. KidneyCure has a long history of providing excellent support for young investigators in the Nephrology realm. To paraphrase Wayne Gretzky, you aren't awarded 100% of the grants you don't apply for!
Something you may not know about me is…
I'm an enthusiastic outdoorsman that grew up camping and hiking in the Pacific Northwest; I've hiked the entire 93-mile Wonderland Trail, and several hundred miles in Olympic National Park.
In my free time I like to…
Spend time with my family and go hiking or rock climbing!