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Clinical Focus

  • Nephrology

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Master of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2013)
  • Doctor of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (2014)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Princeton University (2009)
  • Fellowship: Stanford University Nephrology Fellowship (2020) CA
  • Board Certification: American Board of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine (2017)
  • Residency: University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital Internal Med Residency (2017) FL
  • Medical Education: University of North Carolina School of Medicine (2014) NC


All Publications

  • Race and Place in ESKD. Kidney international reports Watford, D. J., Chertow, G. M. 2021; 6 (2): 252?53

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ekir.2020.11.027

    View details for PubMedID 33617609

  • Physical Performance Testing in Kidney Transplant Candidates at the Top of the Waitlist. American journal of kidney diseases : the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation Cheng, X. S., Myers, J. n., Han, J. n., Stedman, M. R., Watford, D. J., Lee, J. n., Discipulo, K. V., Chan, K. N., Chertow, G. M., Tan, J. C. 2020


    Frailty and poor physical function are associated with adverse kidney transplant outcomes, but how to incorporate this knowledge into clinical practice is uncertain. We studied the association between measured physical performance and clinical outcomes among patients on kidney transplant waitlists.Prospective observational cohort study.We studied consecutive patients evaluated in our Transplant Readiness Assessment Clinic, a top-of-the-waitlist management program, from May 2017 through December 2018 (N=305). We incorporated physical performance testing, including the 6-minute walk test (6MWT) and the sit-to-stand (STS) test, into routine clinical assessments.6MWT and STS test results.Primary - Time to adverse waitlist outcomes (removal from waitlist or death). Secondary - Time to transplantation, time to death.We used linear regression to examine the relationship between clinical characteristics and physical performance test results. We used subdistribution hazards models to examine the association between physical performance test results and outcomes.Median 6MWT and STS results were 393 meters (25th- 75th percentile range 305-455) and 17 repetitions (25th- 75th percentile range 12-21), respectively. Clinical characteristics and Estimated Post-Transplant Survival scores only accounted for 14-21% of the variance in 6MWT/STS results. 6MWT/STS results were associated with adverse waitlist outcomes (adjusted subdistribution hazard ratio [sHR] of 1.42 [95% confidence interval 1.30-1.56 per 50-meter lower in 6MWT and 1.53 [95% confidence interval 1.33-1.75] per 5-repetition lower in STS), and with transplantation (adjusted sHR of 0.80 [95% confidence interval 0.72-0.88] per 50-meter lower in 6MWT and 0.80 [95% confidence interval 0.71-0.89] per 5-repetition lower in STS). Addition of either STS or 6MWT to survival models containing clinical characteristics enhanced fit (likelihood ratio test p<0.001).Single-center observational study. Other measures of global health status (e.g., Fried frailty index or short physical performance battery) were not examined.Among waitlisted kidney transplant candidates with high Kidney Allocation Scores, standardized and easily performed physical performance test results are associated with waitlist outcomes and contain information beyond what is currently routinely collected in clinical practice.

    View details for DOI 10.1053/j.ajkd.2020.04.009

    View details for PubMedID 32512039

  • Toward telemedicine-compatible physical functioning assessments in kidney transplant candidates. Clinical transplantation Watford, D. J., Cheng, X. S., Han, J. n., Stedman, M. R., Chertow, G. M., Tan, J. C. 2020: e14173


    Frailty is associated with adverse kidney transplant outcomes and can be assessed by subjective and objective metrics. There is increasing recognition of the value of metrics obtainable remotely. We compared the self-reported SF-36 physical functioning subscale score (SF-36 PF) with in-person physical performance tests (6-minute walk and sit-to-stand) in a prospective cohort of kidney transplant candidates. We assessed each metric's ability to predict time to the composite outcome of waitlist removal or death, censoring at transplant. We built time-dependent receiver operating characteristic curves and calculated the area under the curve [AUC(t)] at 1 year, using bootstrapping for internal validation. In 199 patients followed for a median of 346 days, 41 reached the composite endpoint. Lower SF-36 PF scores were associated with higher risk of waitlist removal/death, with every 10-point decrease corresponding to a 16% increase in risk. All models showed an AUC(t) of 0.83-0.84 that did not contract substantially after internal validation. Among kidney transplant candidates, SF-36 PF, obtainable remotely, can help to stratify the risk of waitlist removal or death, and may be used as a screening tool for poor physical functioning in ongoing candidate evaluation, particularly where travel, increasing patient volume, or other restrictions challenge in-person assessment.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/ctr.14173

    View details for PubMedID 33247983

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