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Chronic Disease Research

Chronic diseasessuch as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, and diabetesare all leading causes of disability and/or death in the United States. However, chronic diseases are both treatable and preventable. The Chronic Disease Research Group's (CDRG) mission is to improve the experiences and outcomes of patients and populations affected by chronic diseases, through high-quality research and analytics. CDRG has conducted studies in various therapeutic areas, including nephrology, transplantation, and oncology. 

In addition to the expertise of the clinicians on staff, as part of the Hennepin Healthcare System (HHS) we can call on clinical expertise from a wide range of therapeutic areas. Whether you bring a key opinion leader or require our expertise, we will evaluate our ability to work in any therapeutic area before contracting. 

Current program areas of research:

Nephrology | Transplantation | Oncology | Cardiology | Bone & Mineral | Hepatology | Inflammation

 Nephrology (kidney disease)

For over two decades, a core mission of CDRG has been the study of kidney disease epidemiology using large administrative databases, including Medicare and employer group health plan databases such as Truven MarketScan. These efforts have resulted in over 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals and innumerable abstracts, posters, and oral presentations at national and international meetings. CDRG continues its interest in kidney disease epidemiology by administering the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) contract, supporting both investigator-initiated and pharmaceutical industry-sponsored observational studies, and making other key contributions to the study of kidney disease.


With the ever-growing need for organ, eye, tissue, and other transplants, innovation is the key to healing and saving more lives. Our team is poised to help your organization achieve your goals and tell your story through innovative analytics. The CDRG Transplantation team provides quality analytics for all our partners in the field of transplantation. Whether conducting extensive policy research, providing quality consulting, or spearheading data analytics for our clients, our purpose is to help you meet your organizational goals. The CDRG Transplantation team also continues to advance the field of transplantation epidemiology by servicing the Health and Human Services contract for the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR), making key contributions to the study of organ donation and transplantation.

 Oncology (cancer)

Using administrative claims databases, our research in the area of oncology focuses on comprehensive assessment of cancer prevalence and incidence, patient characteristics, treatment patterns, clinical epidemiology, outcomes and complications, adherence and persistence to treatment, health care utilization, and cost of care across all major types of solid tumors and hematologic cancers. Other avenues of investigation include the complex epidemiology and etiology of oncologic treatments with toxicity of various organ systems, such as cardiac and renal.

 Cardiology (heart disease)

Our analytic group has broad experience and expertise using administrative data (such as the 20% Medicare sample) to conduct detailed studies of prevalence and incidence of cardiovascular disease, special patient characteristics, treatment patterns, and clinical outcomes. Our experience extends across the domain of cardiovascular disease, with special attention to atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (cerebrovascular disease, coronary artery disease, and peripheral arterial disease), cardiac dysrhythmias (particularly sudden cardiac death and atrial fibrillation), congestive heart failure, and valvular heart disease. Our publications have addressed the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease, pharmacotherapy, and interventional therapies (including percutaneous coronary intervention and surgical coronary artery revascularization).

 Bone & Mineral (bone disease)

CDRG’s research centers around mineral metabolism disorder epidemiology, relationships with clinical outcomes, and treatment in kidney disease patients. The relationships among the minerals in the blood are complex and treatment of abnormal levels can have complex effects, making appropriate study complicated and challenging. Careful study design and selection of correct statistical methods is necessary for successful studies. CDRG has extensive experience in designing and carrying out such studies.

 Hepatology (liver disease)

The most common types of chronic liver disease relate to hepatitis virus (A-E, with different disease rates), cirrhosis, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). CDRG’s expertise includes study design and analysis of administrative claims data (Medicare, MarketScan), and our study areas include epidemiology of NAFLD and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), disease progression from NASH to end-stage liver disease (ESLD), health care utilization and costs for patients with NASH and ESLD, and treatment and outcomes for chronic hepatitis.

 Inflammation (autoimmune disease)

Inflammatory disease is a general term that applies to autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammatory conditions in which a person’s immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. Familiar inflammatory diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis. These diseases can affect almost any bodily organ, and in most cases more than one organ or organ system. Our expertise in the field of inflammatory diseases includes expert study design and analysis of administrative claims data (Medicare and MarketScan). Regarding conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis, our experience lies in epidemiology, prevalence of comorbid conditions, health care utilization, outcomes and mortality, and treatment patterns analysis.

Have questions about how we can help you with your next project?

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Contact Us

Chronic Disease Research Group

Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute

701 Park Ave.

Suite S2.100

Minneapolis, MN 55415


Tel: 612.873.6200

Mon-Fri: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM CT

The Chronic Disease Research Group (CDRG) is a division of the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute (EIN 1568208), located in Minneapolis, MN.