Black Men More Often Suffer Fatal Kidney Disease

Published February 6, 2008

Posted Feb. 5, 2008 – Among Americans with kidney disease, Black men are most likely to experience life-threatening complications, a new study says.

Black men with kidney complications were also most likely to have high blood pressure, as well.

In fact, the study done by the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that both Black men and Black women in the later stages of kidney disease were more likely to have high blood pressure than Whites. 

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High blood pressure can worsen kidney disease, and some research suggests that controlling hypertension may play a major role in slowing progression of kidney disease, according to background information in the study, which looked at more than 10,000 people with kidney disease and hypertension.

"African-Americans with [kidney disease] progress more quickly to kidney failure, at which point they must receive a kidney transplant or regular dialysis to survive," study author Dr. O. Kenrik Duru, of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a prepared statement.

"These findings suggest that their higher risk of kidney failure may stem, at least in part, from higher rates of uncontrolled high blood pressure," Duru said.

The study appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.

About 26 million Americans have kidney disease. People at increased risk for kidney disease include people of color, older adults and those with diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and a family history of kidney disease.

Research has shown that kidney disease in Blacks progresses five times faster to kidney failure than in Whites.

"These findings propose new opportunities to eliminate health disparities in people most vulnerable to [kidney disease]," study co-author Dr. Allan J. Collins, president of the National Kidney Foundation, said in a prepared statement. "Treating high blood pressure aggressively in people with [kidney disease] could protect thousands – if not millions – of people from life-threatening complications of kidney failure."

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about chronic kidney disease.

And for more on how to care for your kidneys, check with the National Kidney Foundation.

Written by BET-Staff

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