The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Truth About Blacks With Kidney Disease -- After 25 Years of Research!

African American with Kidney Disease

Medical researchers are still attempting to find out just why African Americans have a greater risk for kidney failure than white Americans. In fact, researchers at Johns Hopkins have spent 25 years studying the racial disparity, using data from more than 15,000 Americans. But what they have found still does not explain the increased risk among blacks.

Gene difference not the answer

One interesting discovery was the fact that about 5 million black Americans have APOL1 variants. In plain language, it means they develop mutations or sudden variations to a gene called apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1), which produces a protein that is part of "good" HDL cholesterol. Researchers believed that the mutations were associated with kidney diseases in African-Americans.

But the study showed that not all people who have these variations develop kidney disease. In addition, the kidney disease that occurred among most blacks with the APOL1 variants was similar to that of blacks who did not have the variant at all.

The truth revealed

It is now believed that the higher risk of kidney disease among blacks may well be due to the lack of proper health care, thus highlighting the need for more health care in order to improve health outcomes for blacks.

Read more at www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_157715.html

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