Social Determinants of Cardiovascular Health in African American Children With CKD: An Analysis of the Chronic Kidney Disease in Children (CKiD) Study

Am J Kidney Dis. 2021 Jul;78(1):66-74. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2020.11.013. Epub 2021 Jan 5.


Rationale & objective: To identify differences in socioeconomic factors (SES) and subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) markers by race among Chronic Kidney Disease in Children (CKiD) participants and determine whether differences in CVD markers persist after adjusting for SES.

Study design: Analysis of 3,103 visits with repeated measures from 628 children (497 White participants; 131 African American participants) enrolled in the CKiD study.

Setting & participants: Children with mild-moderate CKD with at least 1 cardiovascular (CV) parameter (ambulatory blood pressure, left ventricular mass index [LVMI], or lipid profile) measured.

Exposure: African American race.

Outcomes: Ambulatory hypertension, LVMI, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Analytical approach: Due to increased CV risks of glomerular disease, the analysis was stratified by CKD cause. Inverse probability weighting was used to adjust for SES (health insurance, household income, maternal education, food insecurity, abnormal birth history). Linear and logistic regression were used to evaluate association of race with CV markers.

Results: African American children were disproportionately affected by adverse SES. African Americans with nonglomerular CKD had more instances of ambulatory hypertension and higher LVMI but more favorable lipid profiles. After adjustment for SES, age, and sex, the magnitude of differences in these CV markers was attenuated but remained statistically significant. Only LVMI differed by race in the glomerular CKD group, despite adjustment for SES.

Limitations: Study design limits causal inference.

Conclusion: African American children with CKD are disproportionately affected by socioeconomic disadvantages compared with White children. The degree to which CV markers differ by race is influenced by disease etiology. African Americans with nonglomerular CKD have increased LVMI, more ambulatory hypertension, and favorable lipid profile, but attenuation in magnitude after adjustment for SES was observed. African Americans with glomerular CKD had increased LVMI, which persisted after SES adjustment. As many social determinants of health were not captured, future research should examine effects of systemic racism on CV health in this population.

Keywords: African American; cardiovascular disease (CVD); children; chronic kidney disease (CKD); dyslipidemia; food insecurity; health inequality; hypertension; left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH); pediatrics; race; racial differences; social determinants of health; socioeconomic disparities; socioeconomic status (SES); subclinical CVD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Black or African American*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Social Determinants of Health*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • White People*