About the ICDC
The Interdisciplinary Chronic Disease Collaboration (ICDC) is a motivated team of researchers whose overall objective is to improve the health of patients with non-communicable chronic diseases such as; hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD). The ICDC team is a collaboration between health care decision-makers, scientists and educators from 22 key disciplines that was formed to examine the issues related to treating patients with or at high risk of developing non-communicable chronic diseases.
Obesity, smoking, physical inactivity and an aging population have contributed to an epidemic of hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and vascular disease, all of which predispose to fatal or disabling cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke. These non-communicable chronic conditions commonly occur together, and are the leading causes of death and disability worldwide.
Although effective therapies for these conditions are available, many people do not receive these treatments. Current approaches to managing these conditions have four key limitations:
- The uptake of interventions for patients with these common conditions is greatest in people at lowest risk.
- Even among people with easy access to care, the use of efficacious, cost-effective treatments is low.
- These conditions are predominantly managed by physicians in referral centres. This approach does not optimally address the needs of remote dwellers, may not allow other health care professionals to work to their full scope of practice and is likely not sustainable within publicly-funded health care.
- Our current strategies focus on people who have already been diagnosed.
Each year, the Alberta government spends $12 to $13 billion on health care and allocates nearly $1 billion to new or revised health programs.
The magnitude and complexity of dealing with chronic disease management from an interdisciplinary focus requires a multidisciplinary team approach. Current approaches for evaluating the management of these chronic diseases ignore key social, cultural, geographical, legal and ethical issues that pose significant barriers to optimal care, and typically do not address the root causes (e.g., economic factors, social environment, geography, education) of the underlying risk factors (e.g., obesity, smoking).
The ICDC’s overall objective is to improve the health of patients living with non-communicable chronic disease. This will be accomplished by developing, implementing and evaluating novel interventions which reduce the clinical and economic impact of hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and vascular disease.
To execute the research program, the ICDC team will draw on the expertise of scientists, decision makers and educators from 22 key disciplines in three pillars from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR): population health, clinical research and health services research.