Nearly 10% of U.S. adults have a family history of end-stage renal disease (ESRD), and these individuals may be at increased risk of developing kidney disease themselves, a study says.
“A family history of kidney disease is more frequent in African Americans, who are also at substantially higher risk of ESRD,” observed William McClellan, MD, of Emory University in Atlanta. “Our results suggest that efforts to reduce the risk of progressive kidney disease and ESRD targeted at these families might help improve the detection, treatment, and control of early kidney disease.”
Dr. McClellan and colleagues used data on a representative sample of more than 12,000 black and white Americans aged 45 or older. Subjects were asked whether they had any relatives with “kidney failure,” that is, ESRD: irreversible loss of kidney function requiring dialysis or transplantation.
Overall, 9.5% of subjects reported ESRD in a first-degree relative—a parent, sibling, or child. A family history of ESRD was more than twice as common for African Americans as for whites.