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Clear racial discrepancies exist among patients with CKD
Date:5/19/2008

Washington, DC (May 19, 2008) Black patients have a higher risk of dying in the early stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) than whites, according to a study appearing in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). The findings may explain why blacks have better survival rates once they reach advanced stages of the diseasein essence, because only the healthiest blacks are surviving long enough to develop later stages of the disease. If white patients are given better care in managing their condition early on, even less healthy patients may live to develop advanced disease. But, their compromised health may put them at increased risk of death in the long term compared with blacks.

In addition, the studys results indicate that racial differences in the death rates of chronic kidney disease patients depend more on sociological factors than on biological ones. Poverty and lack of education and medical insurance in particular may contribute to the high death rates among black individuals.

Previous research has documented that, in general, mortality rates for black individuals are persistently higher than those for whites. However, among patients with late-stage chronic kidney disease, the trend is reversed and black individuals have a survival advantage over whites. Hispanic patients also seem to have a survival advantage over whites in these situations.

Puzzled by this paradox, Dr. Rajnish Mehrotra of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and colleagues set out to find an explanation. They assessed data from a total of 14,611 patients in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANESIII), a population-based survey of community-dwelling individuals.

The investigators found that 2,892 of the individuals in the survey had chronic kidney disease, 1,127 of whom died during follow-up. Among those with early-stage disease who were younger than
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Contact: Shari Leventhal
sleventhal@asn-online.org
202-416-0658
American Society of Nephrology
Source:Eurekalert

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