Reappraisal of the impact of race on survival in patients on dialysis

Am J Kidney Dis. 2010 Jun;55(6):1102-10. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.10.062.


Racial differences in the cause, natural history, and effects of chronic kidney disease have long been the subject of investigation. Dialysis-dependent kidney failure occurs nearly 4 times more often in African Americans than European Americans. Despite this observation, studies repeatedly show that African Americans have a significant survival advantage after initiating dialysis therapy. Although this phenomenon has been attributed to environmental and socioeconomic factors, recent studies show that inherited factors strongly influence racial differences in the development of diverse kidney diseases and may affect the risk of nephropathy-associated cardiovascular disease. We review relevant studies and propose the hypothesis that inherited factors leading to organ-limited kidney diseases and a lower burden of systemic atherosclerosis contribute in part to the improved survival rates in African American patients on dialysis therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American / ethnology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / ethnology*
  • Kidney Diseases / mortality*
  • Kidney Diseases / therapy
  • Racial Groups / ethnology
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Survival Rate
  • White People / ethnology