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Study: Kidney disease a big risk for younger, low-income minorities
Date:3/10/2010

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) afflicts a large number of younger minority adults receiving medical care in settings that serve the uninsured and underinsured (settings collectively known as the healthcare safety net). Poor, minority adults with moderate to severe CKD are also two to four times more likely to progress to kidney failure than non-Hispanic whites. These are the findings from a study published online in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

The study indicates that targeted efforts to assess the burden and progression of CKD within the healthcare safety net are vital to improving the quality of care for this vulnerable population, and ultimately save lives.

Researchers at the University of Washington, the University of California San Francisco, and Stanford University examined data from 15,353 adults with non-dialysis dependent CKD stages 3-5. All were receiving regular ambulatory care in the Community Health Network of San Francisco and were followed for a period of 12-months to 9.4 years. The study authors measured the time it took for patients to progress from moderate to severe CKD to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or death.

The vast majority of study participants were indigent, 40 percent were either uninsured or enrolled in Medicaid, and one-third spoke a primary language other than English all vulnerable populations which have been underrepresented in prior studies of CKD.

In contrast to the general population and prior CKD studies in the United States, the study authors found CKD afflicted a large fraction of young adults (20-39 years old), most of whom were racial or ethnic minorities. Overall, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Pacific Islanders with CKD were at higher risk of developing ESRD, compared with non-Hispanic whites.

"Minorities in the United States are two to four times more likely than non-minorities to progress to ESRD," said Andy I.
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Contact: Amy Martin
amartin@gymr.com
202-745-5118
American Society of Nephrology
Source:Eurekalert

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