Race and Medicine

Race and Medicine

August 28, 2020
1 min read

ASN, NKF form joint task force to reassess inclusion of race in kidney disease diagnoses

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The American Society of Nephrology has partnered with the National Kidney Foundation to examine how the inclusion of race in eGFR estimations may influence kidney disease diagnoses.

The goal of the task force, according to a statement from both organizations, is to provide equitable care for all patients.

Animated hands of different races linked
Source: Adobe Stock

The statement noted that currently used equations that estimate kidney function from serum creatine concentration adjust for race, in addition to other demographic factors, which may fail to achieve accurate diagnoses for certain patients.

As explained in the statement: “Unlike age, sex and body weight, race is a social, not a biological construct. Including adjustment for race in these eGFR equations ignores the substantial diversity within self-identified Black or African American patients and other racial or ethnic minority groups.”

Elaborating on the task force in a related press release, NKF President Holly Mattix-Kramer, MD, MPH, said, “This joint task force will incorporate concerns of the patients, the public, and kidney professionals as it examines the scientific and ethical issues relative to use of race in eGFR.”

Holly Mattix-Kramer
Anupam Agarwal

Further, the NKF and ASN intend to establish an advisory board, which will review and comment on the draft recommendations before the task force finalizes recommendations, according to the release.

Anupam Agarwal, MD, FASN, president of the ASN also commented on the importance of the task force in release.

“Together, NKF and ASN are committed to ensuring that eGFR provides an unbiased assessment of kidney function,” he said.

To read the statement in full, please visit: https://www.kidneynews.org/sites/default/files/NKF-ASN%20eGFR%20Statement_July%202020.pdf.