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Genetic variation increases risk of kidney disease progression in African-Americans
Date:11/9/2013

ates their effect in patients with diabetes and observes the impact of blood pressure control on APOL1-associated disease progression.

According to Dr. Parsa, approximately 13 percent of the African American population has two copies of the risk variants. Fortunately, most of those at risk do not develop kidney disease. The researchers analyzed the role of APOL1 gene variants in two longitudinal studies of patients with kidney disease: the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) and the African American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension (AASK), both sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Parsa examined the CRIC study data, while co-lead author and Johns Hopkins epidemiologist W.H. Linda Kao, Ph.D., M.H.S., analyzed the AASK data.

The ASSK study consisted of nearly 700 non-diabetic African American participants whose kidney disease was attributed to hypertension, a leading cause of kidney failure. The study was initially a clinical trial that tested the effects of different classes of anti-hypertensive medication and two different blood pressure goals on the progression of kidney disease.

The hypertension intervention had similar effects in persons with and without the high-risk APOL1 variant, suggesting that patients in the APOL1 high risk group still benefit from these drugs, says Dr. Kao. Blacks with two copies of the high-risk APOL1 variants were at higher risk for kidney disease progression, but it is important to note that kidney disease in about 40 percent of blacks in the AASK study who also carried the high-risk variants had not progressed at the time of the study. This finding raises the importance of identifying factors that may modify the effect of the APOL1 risk variants.

CRIC expanded on AASK, increasing the number of patients to include those with diabetes, one of the most common
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Contact: Bill Seiler
bseiler@umm.edu
410-328-8919
University of Maryland Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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