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Kidney Disease More Severe in Blacks Than Others: Study

Last Updated: November 29, 2012.

Screening would help improve their care, researchers say.

THURSDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Chronic kidney disease progresses faster in blacks than in other racial/ethnic groups in the United States, new research finds.

The study also said that screening of blacks with chronic kidney disease is cost-effective and can help improve their care.

The rate of chronic kidney disease among blacks is similar to that of other Americans, but it's more likely to progress to kidney failure among blacks. The lifetime incidence of kidney failure among blacks is 8.6 percent, compared with 3.5 percent for other Americans. The reasons for this difference aren't known.

In this study, researchers used a simulation model of chronic kidney disease progression to determine if rates of common risk factors for chronic kidney disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, could explain why blacks have a higher lifetime incidence of kidney failure.

The increased risk was not fully explained by the risk factors, but was linked to faster progression of chronic kidney disease during the later stages of the disease, according to the study, published online Nov. 29 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The researchers also concluded that using a urine test to screen blacks for kidney disease is cost-effective at either five- or 10-year intervals, particularly for those with diabetes or high blood pressure. The screening could lead to earlier treatment that might prevent kidney failure, said study author Thomas Hoerger of RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C., in a journal news release.

About 26 million adults in the United States have chronic kidney disease. In 2009, kidney failure affected more than 571,000 U.S. adults and cost more than $42 billion.

More information

The National Kidney Foundation has more about chronic kidney disease.

SOURCE: Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, news release, Nov. 29, 2012

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