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Race impacts declining kidney function

  • - Urology / Nephrology News
  • Nov 22, 2010
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  • Viewed: 6163
Tags: | american society of nephrology | chronic kidney disease | ckd | end-stage renal disease |

African Americans - along with some groups of Hispanics - have faster rates of decline in kidney function compared to white Americans, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition.

“Racial/ethnic differences are present early, before chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been established,” comments Carmen A. Peralta, MD (University of California, San Francisco).

Based on a large nationwide study of heart disease risk factors (the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis), the researchers analyzed data on nearly 5,200 U.S. adults, all with initially normal kidney function. Two different “generalized estimating equations” were used to assess changes in kidney function, based on five-year follow-up data. The study compared white, black, Hispanic, and Chinese Americans to look for possible racial/ethnic differences in the aging-related rate of kidney function decline.

African Americans demonstrated a faster annual rate of decline. By one equation, decline was about 60 percent faster for African American versus white participants. Peralta adds, “The observed differences were not fully explained by traditional risk factors,” such as cholesterol levels, body weight, smoking, diabetes, or high blood pressure.

Kidney function also declined faster in Hispanic participants, but the effect varied by country of origin. Dominicans had the fastest rate of decline, followed by Puerto Ricans. All other Hispanic subgroups, as well as Chinese Americans, demonstrated a rate of decline in kidney function similar to that of whites.

End-stage renal disease (ESRD) disproportionately affects African-Americans and Hispanics. “Studies have suggested that this is more likely due to faster rates of progression from established CKD,” Peralta explains. “Whether or not these differences in kidney function decline are present at earlier stages of kidney dysfunction is not well known.”

The new results suggest that people of certain racial and ethnic groups may be at risk for faster declines in kidney function, even if they are free from CKD. “This reflects a new opportunity to study how to best identify persons at high risk and to investigate prevention strategies for CKD,” Peralta concludes.

The study had some important limitations, especially the fact that kidney function was assessed using estimating equations, rather than measured directly.


Study co-authors are Ronit Katz, PhD, Bryan Kestenbaum, MD, Ian de Boer, MD, David Siscovick (University of Washington, Seattle), Holly Kramer, MD (Loyola Medical Center, Maywood, IL), Mark Sarnak (Tufts Medical Center, Boston), Joachim Ix, MD (University of California, San Diego), Moyses Szklo (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore), Steven Shea (Columbia University, New York), Michael G. Shlipak, MD (University of California, San Francisco).

Disclosures: Dr. de Boer has received grants/research report from Abbott Laboratories. Dr. Kestenbaum has received grants/research report from Amgen, Inc. The remaining authors reported no financial disclosures.

The article, entitled “Racial Differences in Kidney Function Decline among Persons without Chronic Kidney Disease: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis,” [TH-FC090] will be presented as part of an oral presentation on Thursday, November 18 at 6:18 PM MT Time in Room 405 of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO.

ASN Renal Week 2010, the largest nephrology meeting of its kind, will provide a forum for 13,000 professionals to discuss the latest findings in renal research and engage in educational sessions related to advances in the care of patients with kidney and related disorders. Renal Week 2010 will take place November 16 – November 21 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO.

The content of this article does not reflect the views or opinions of The American Society of Nephrology (ASN). Responsibility for the information and views expressed therein lies entirely with the author(s). ASN does not offer medical advice. All content in ASN publications is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions, or adverse effects. This content should not be used during a medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Please consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions about a medical condition, or before taking any drug, changing your diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment. Do not ignore or delay obtaining professional medical advice because of information accessed through ASN. Call 911 or your doctor for all medical emergencies.

Founded in 1966, the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) is the world’s largest professional society devoted to the study of kidney disease. Comprised of 11,000 physicians and scientists, ASN continues to promote expert patient care, to advance medical research, and to educate the renal community. ASN also informs policymakers about issues of importance to kidney doctors and their patients. ASN funds research, and through its world-renowned meetings and first-class publications, disseminates information and educational tools that empower physicians.


Contact: Shari Leventhal
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American Society of Nephrology

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