(HealthDay News) — Stress related to not achieving goals is associated with a greater risk for rapid kidney function decline (RKFD) in African Americans, according to a study published online in the Journal of Investigative Medicine.

Loretta Cain-Shields, PhD, MPH, from the University of Mississippi in Jackson, and colleagues explored the association between goal-striving stress (GSS) and RKFD among 2630 African Americans using data from the Jackson Heart Study (2000 to 2004 and 2009 to 2013).

The researchers found that the incidence of RKFD in this sample was 7.34% during a mean 8.06 years of follow-up. The mean GSS was 3.80, with the total GSS score ranging from 0 to 36. After full adjustment, those who reported high versus low GSS scores were more likely to experience RKFD (incidence rate ratio, 1.60). When adding cortisol to the model, those who reported high GSS had 1.58 times the rate of RKFD as participants reporting low GSS scores (incidence rate ratio, 1.58).

“Researchers and clinicians should continue to explore nontraditional risk factors in an effort to explain and prevent racial disparities in kidney disease,” the authors write.

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Cain-Shields L, Glover L, Young B, Sims M. Association between goal-striving stress and rapid kidney function decline among African Americans: the Jackson Heart Study. BMJ.