Kidney disease progresses faster in African Americans than other races

November 29, 2012

Among individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD), African Americans experience faster progression of the disease during later stages compared with other races, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). Also, screening of African Americans with CKD can help improve care and is cost-effective.

It is well known that African Americans have a similar prevalence of CKD as other Americans, but they are more likely to progress to kidney failure. The lifetime incidence of kidney failure is about 8.6% for African Americans compared with 3.5% for other Americans. The reasons for this disparity are not known.

To investigate, Thomas Hoerger, PhD (RTI International) and his colleagues used a of CKD progression to see if the prevalence of common CKD risk factors (such as and diabetes) could explain the higher lifetime incidence of kidney failure among African Americans.

The researchers found that the higher lifetime incidence of kidney failure among African Americans was not fully explained by the prevalence of common CKD . Instead, it could be explained by faster progression of CKD among African Americans during the later stages of the disease.

The investigators then considered whether screening for a particular marker of CKD called microalbuminuria—when the kidneys leak small amounts of protein into the urine—would be cost-effective. (Screening could lead to earlier treatment that might prevent kidney failure.) "We found that screening for microalbuminuria is cost-effective for African Americans at either five- or 10-year intervals, particularly for those with diabetes or hypertension," said Dr. Hoerger.

affected more than 571,000 US adults and cost more than $42 billion in 2009.

Explore further: Kidney disease coupled with heart disease common problem in elderly

More information: The article, entitled "Cost-Effectiveness of Screening for Microalbuminuria among African Americans," will appear online on November 29, 2012, doi: 10.1681/ASN.2012040347

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Ebola virus mutations may help it evade drug treatment

September 11, 2015

Genetic mutations called "escape variants" in the deadly Ebola virus appear to block the ability of antibody-based treatments to ward off infection, according to a team of U.S. Army scientists and collaborators. Their findings, ...

Study finds viral protein that causes dengue shock

September 9, 2015

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have identified a key culprit responsible for the fluid loss and resulting shock that are the hallmark of severe - and potentially fatal - dengue virus infections.


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.