Protein in the urine spells kidney failure for African-Americans

African Americans are four times more likely to develop kidney failure than whites. A new study has found that a condition that occurs when the kidneys are damaged and spill protein into the urine contributes to this increased risk.

The study, conducted by William McClellan, MD of Emory University and his colleagues, appears in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the (JASN), a publication of the American Society of Nephrology.

The investigators analyzed information from 27,911 individuals (40.5% of whom were African Americans). Among the major findings:

  • After an average follow-up of 3.6 years, 133 individuals developed .
  • There were 96 cases of kidney failure among African Americans and 37 among whites.
  • Kidney failure was most common in individuals who excreted large amounts of protein in their urine.
  • African Americans were more likely to excrete large amounts of protein in their urine than whites.

The investigators speculate that several factors may explain why African Americans tend to excrete more protein in their urine. These could include blood pressure and other heart-related factors, obesity, smoking, vitamin D levels, , income, and . These factors may act at different times during an individual's life to affect kidney health.

"Our large nationwide study brings attention to higher levels of urinary protein excretion as important contributors to the increased incidence of kidney failure experienced by blacks," said Dr. McClellan. Treating urinary protein excretion may help reduce related to kidney failure as well as reduce the rate of progression to kidney failure for all individuals.

More information: The article, entitled "Albuminuria and Racial Disparities in the Incidence of End-Stage Renal Disease," will appear online at doi:10.1681/ASN.2010101085

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Long wait yet for Ebola vaccine: experts

4 hours ago

It will be months, at least, before a vaccine becomes available to tackle Ebola, experts said Thursday as researchers reported success in early, safety tests with a leading candidate.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.