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Newly found gene variants account for kidney diseases among African-Americans
Date:9/14/2008

t associations of MYH9 variants with FSGS, HIV-associated FSGS, and all nondiabetic kidney failure. They also found that these variants were much more frequent among people of African ancestry than among whites. The increased risk among African-Americans with these variants is more than 300 percent for FSGS, more than 500 percent for HIV-associated FSGS, and more than 100 percent for all nondiabetic kidney failure. Sixty percent of African-Americans carry the risk variants in contrast to 4 percent of whites.

Though FSGS affects African-Americans more than whites, the rate of progression to kidney failure is believed to the same for both populations. FSGS associated with HIV infection is almost exclusively found in individuals of African descent and, without treatment, progresses more rapidly to kidney failure compared to other forms of kidney disease. FSGS often affects adolescents and young adults as well as older individuals.

In the NIH study, the researchers scanned the genome of 190 African-Americans known to have FSGS, including the form associated with HIV infection, and 222 who did not have FSGS and replicated these findings in additional cases. The Johns Hopkins researchers, members of the Family Investigation of Nephropathy and Diabetes (FIND) consortium, studied more than 2,100 participants of the FIND study and the Choices for Healthy Outcomes in Caring for ESRD (CHOICE) study. FIND, one of the largest multi-center genetic studies of kidney disease ever conducted, has been funded by the NIDDK since 1999.

"MYH9 genetic variations account for some of the excess risk of kidney disease due to hypertension, and much of the excess risk due to FSGS, and HIV-associated FSGS in African-Americans," said Jeffrey B. Kopp, M.D., a kidney specialist and lead author of the NIH study. "We hope this finding will lead to personalized medical therapy that will reduce the burden of chronic kidney disease."

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Contact: Arthur Stone
niddkmedia@mail.nih.gov
301-496-3583
NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Source:Eurekalert

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