ATLANTA—African Americans are at increased risk for acute kidney injury (AKI) compared with Caucasians, and this increased risk may be driven largely by differences in socioeconomic status, researchers reported at the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week 2013 meeting.

Morgan Grams, MD, and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, analyzed data from 8,350 Caucasians and 2,244 African Americans who participated in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. The researchers identified 608 AKI events among the Caucasians and 207 among the African Americans.

After adjusting for demographics, cardiovascular risk factors, kidney function, the presence or absence of APOL1 risk alleles, and time-varying hospitalizations, African Americans had a significant 26% increased risk of AKI compared with Caucasians. When the researchers further adjusted for health insurance and income, however, African Americans no longer had a significantly increased risk of AKI.

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“Improvement in access to quality health care may lower rates of AKI and attenuate racial disparities,” the investigators concluded.