Methods/Design: A cross-sectional study of Indigenous Australian adults (target n = 600, 50% male) across 4 sites: Top End, Northern Territory; Central Australia; Far North Queensland and Western Australia. The reference measure of glomerular filtration rate was the plasma disappearance rate of iohexol over 4 hours. We will compare the accuracy of the following glomerular filtration rate measures with the reference measure: Modification of Diet in Renal Disease 4-variable formula, Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation, Cockcroft-Gault formula and cystatin C- derived estimates. Detailed assessment of body build and composition was performed using anthropometric measurements, skinfold thicknesses, bioelectrical impedance and a sub-study used dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. A questionnaire was performed for socio-economic status and medical history.
Discussion: We have successfully managed several operational challenges within this multi-centre complex clinical research project performed across remote North, Western and Central Australia. It seems unlikely that a single correction factor (similar to that for African-Americans) to the equation for estimated glomerular filtration rate will prove appropriate or practical for Indigenous Australians. However, it may be that a modification of the equation in Indigenous Australians would be to include a measure of fat-free mass.