Background: Few cohort studies have examined the risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) among Asians compared with whites and blacks.
Methods: To compare the incidence of ESRD in Asians, whites, and blacks in Northern California, we examined sociodemographic and clinical data on 299,168 adults who underwent a screening health checkup at Kaiser Permanente between 1964 and 1985. Incident cases of ESRD were ascertained by matching patient identifiers with the nationally comprehensive United States Renal Data System ESRD registry.
Results: Overall, 1346 cases of ESRD occurred during 7,837,310 person-years of follow-up. The age-adjusted rate of ESRD (per 100,000 person-years) was 14.0 [95% confidence interval (CI) 10.5-18.5] among Asians, 7.9 (95% CI 6.5-9.5) among whites, and 43.4 (95% CI 36.6-51.4)] among blacks. Controlling for age, gender, educational attainment, diabetes, prior myocardial infarction, serum creatinine, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, proteinuria, hematuria, cigarette smoking, serum total cholesterol, and body mass index increased the risk of ESRD in Asians relative to whites from 1.69 to 2.08 (95% CI 1.61-2.67). By contrast, adjustment for the same covariates decreased the risk of ESRD in blacks relative to whites from 5.30 to 3.28 (95% CI 2.91-3.69).
Conclusion: Factors contributing to the excess ESRD risk in Asians relative to whites extend beyond usually considered sociodemographic and comorbidity disparities. Strategies aimed at examining novel risk factors for kidney disease and efforts to increase awareness of kidney disease among Asians may reduce ESRD incidence in this high-risk group.