Background: Continental Africa is facing an epidemic of chronic kidney disease (CKD). APOL1 risk variants have been shown to be strongly associated with an increased risk for non-diabetic kidney disease including HIV nephropathy, primary non-monogenic focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis, and hypertension-attributed nephropathy among African ancestry populations in the USA. The world's highest frequencies of APOL1 risk alleles have been reported in West African nations, overlapping regions with a high incidence of CKD and hypertension. One such region is south-eastern Nigeria, and therefore we sought to quantify the association of APOL1 risk alleles with CKD in this region.
Methods: APOL1 risk variants were genotyped in a case-control sample set consisting of non-diabetic, CKD patients (n = 44) and control individuals (n = 43) from Enugu and Abakaliki, Nigeria.
Results: We found a high frequency of two APOL1 risk alleles in the general population of Igbo people of south-eastern Nigeria (23.3%). The two APOL1 risk allele frequency in the CKD patient group was 66%. Logistic regression analysis under a recessive inheritance model showed a strong and significant association of APOL1 two-risk alleles with CKD, yielding an odds ratio of 6.4 (unadjusted p = 1.2E-4); following correction for age, gender, HIV and BMI, the odds ratio was 4.8 (adjusted p = 5.1E-03).
Conclusion: APOL1 risk variants are common in the Igbo population of south-eastern Nigeria, and are also highly associated with non-diabetic CKD in this area. APOL1 may explain the increased prevalence of CKD in this region.
Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.