Hemoglobin differences by race in children with CKD

Am J Kidney Dis. 2010 Jun;55(6):1009-17. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.12.040. Epub 2010 Apr 24.


Background: There are known racial disparities in the prevalence of anemia in adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD), but these differences have not been well described in children.

Study design: Cohort study, cross-sectional analysis.

Setting & participants: The Chronic Kidney Disease in Children (CKiD) Study is a multicenter prospective cohort study of children with mild to moderate CKD. This analysis included 429 children of African American or white race.

Predictor: Race.

Outcomes & measurements: This study examined the association of race with hemoglobin level. Both multiple linear regression and generalized gamma modeling techniques were used to characterize the association between race and hemoglobin level.

Results: 79% of the cohort was white, 21% was African American. Neither median hemoglobin level nor frequency of erythropoiesis-stimulating agent use differed by race. In multivariate analysis, lower levels of iohexol-measured glomerular filtration rate, African American race, and glomerular disease (vs nonglomerular disease) as the underlying cause of CKD were independently associated with decreased hemoglobin levels; independent of glomerular filtration rate and CKD diagnosis, African American children had average hemoglobin levels that were 0.6 g/dL (95% CI, -0.9 to -0.2 g/dL) lower than those of white children. Generalized gamma modeling showed that differences in hemoglobin levels observed by race become more pronounced when moving from high to low in the overall hemoglobin level distribution.

Limitations: Cross-sectional analysis cannot establish causality, and data for iron stores were not available for all patients.

Conclusions: African American compared with white children have lower hemoglobin values in CKD independent of the underlying cause of CKD. These racial differences in hemoglobin levels appear to increase at the lower end of the hemoglobin level distribution in this population.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • African Americans / ethnology*
  • Anemia / drug therapy
  • Anemia / epidemiology*
  • Anemia / ethnology*
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dietary Supplements
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology
  • Hematinics / therapeutic use
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Iron / administration & dosage
  • Iron / therapeutic use
  • Kidney Diseases / blood*
  • Kidney Diseases / epidemiology
  • Kidney Diseases / ethnology*
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Hematinics
  • Hemoglobins
  • Iron