GP surgeries across Oxfordshire will this month begin working with university researchers to help develop new ways of treating chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Thousands of residents across the county will take part in the two-year study to investigate how people over the age of 60 progress from mild to more severe forms of the condition.

The research, which will involve 3,205 Oxfordshire residents, will be one of UK’s largest ever observational studies of CKD.

It is hoped information from the study could help doctors better identify and treat those at risk.

Chief Investigator, professor Richard Hobbs from Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences said: “This study will help us to see how many new people are diagnosed with CKD, what happens over an extended period of time to those with mild CKD, and what treatments improve, or stop the worsening of kidney function.

“I’m grateful that we have such an engaged and supportive research team in the community working with us is on this study.

"By the end we’ll have an extensive dataset that will help us to answer important new questions.”

Kidney function declines slowly with age, and around one in 10 people have mild chronic kidney disease.

Recognised as an international health issue by the World Health Organisation, CKD is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, heart failure and sudden death.

The study will be managed by Oxford University’s Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre and the NIHR School for Primary Care Research.