In patients with proteinuria, African-American (AA) ethnicity is reported to be a risk factor for focal segmental glomerulosclereosis (FSGS) and its progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). We reviewed our single-center experience to determine the probability of FSGS and its progression to ESRD based on ethnicity and age at presentation in children with proteinuria with or without nephrotic syndrome. Proteinuria without systemic disease or acute glomerulonephritis was the presenting feature in 17% (236/1,403) of children in the renal patient database of Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine. Histopathological diagnoses were established in 107 of 236 patients (45%). FSGS was identified in 65 patients, accounting for 28% of all patients with proteinuria and 61% of patients who underwent renal biopsy. FSGS was more prevalent in AA (45%) than in non-AA patients (22%) (P=0.001), and AA patients with FSGS were older at presentation (12.7+/-4.4 years) than non-AA patients (5.6+/-4.6 years) (P<0.001). Among patients who underwent renal biopsy, increasing age at presentation increased the probability of having FSGS in AA but not non-AA patients (P=0.04). Five-year actuarial renal survival of FSGS was worse in AA (8%) than in non-AA patients (31%) (P=0.01). These data suggest an increased risk and worse outcome of FSGS in AA compared with non-AA children.