End-stage Renal Disease in Specific Ethnic and Racial Groups: Risk Factors and Benefits of Antihypertensive Therapy

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During the past few years, it has become apparent that there are factors that place a person at greater risk for the development and progression of renal failure.This has been documented since the early 1980s by the United States Renal Data System that has collected data confirming that end-stage renal disease occurs at a greater rate in certain subpopulations of Americans. It is evident from an examination of the data that African Americans and American Indians have an incidence of end-stage renal disease that is not proportional to their percentage of the total population. In fact, African Americans and American Indians are reported to have at least a 4-fold greater incidence of end-stage renal disease than white Americans. There have been 5 factors identified: hypertension, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, salt sensitivity, and hyperlipidemia, which may play a greater role in these subpopulations. In addition, as with other populations, lifestyle issues may serve to alter these primary risk factors or may act as direct modulators of renal disease progression. There is also a possibility that interactions between risk factors frequently occur that may modify the development or progression of the disease. This article reviews these risk factors and emphasizes the interaction between hypertension and the other factors. In addition, the effects of antihypertensive agents on risk factors and on renal outcome are emphasized. Where possible, issues specific to African Americans and American Indians are underscored; however, one must accept that the database on these populations is only now developing. This review should help the clinician make appropriate choices when prescribing antihypertensive therapy for patients who may be at risk of developing progressive renal failure.

Arch Intern Med.1998;158:793-800

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