Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Anemia tougher to tackle in black children with kidney disease, study finds

Date:
April 27, 2010
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Black children with chronic kidney disease have more severe anemia than white children even when they receive the same treatment, according to a new study.

Black children with chronic kidney disease have more severe anemia than white children even when they receive the same treatment, according to a multicenter study led by Johns Hopkins Children's Center to be published in the May issue of the American Journal of Kidney Disease.

Related Articles


The findings suggest that inherent biological differences, rather than access to care and treatment, may be at play, raising the question whether current guidelines for anemia treatment should be tailored to reflect race, investigators say.

Anemia, marked by abnormally low levels of red blood cells, is a key indicator of disease status. It is diagnosed by measuring levels of the protein hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in and out of red blood cells. Hemoglobin levels below 11 grams per deciliter of blood generally indicate anemia, but the number is adjusted for a child's age and gender.

In the new study, black children with kidney disease had lower hemoglobin than white children, 0.6 grams per deciliter on average, and a greater proportion of black children were anemic when compared with white children. The difference persisted even after researchers eliminated certain factors that affect hemoglobin levels, such as severity of kidney disease and whether the children received treatment with hemoglobin-boosting medications for their anemia.

"As we move from one-size-fits-all medicine toward individualized medicine, we should study further racial disparities and, perhaps, adjust hemoglobin targets to reflect what appear to be genetic variations," said lead investigator Meredith Atkinson, M.D., M.H.S., a pediatric nephrologist at Johns Hopkins Children's.

Racial differences in hemoglobin levels are nothing new in adults with chronic kidney disease, researchers say, nor are slight variations in hemoglobin between healthy white and black children.

The tricky part, researchers say, is differentiating between "true" anemia and normal racial variations in hemoglobin levels.

The Hopkins-led study involved 429 children ages 1 to 16 with chronic kidney disease enrolled in 44 study sites across the United States. More than 40 percent of black children had hemoglobin levels below the fifth percentile for their age and gender -- deemed a critical cutoff point -- compared to 29 percent of white children. Also, fewer African-American than white children reached higher hemoglobin levels with treatment. The differences persisted even after researchers controlled for factors affecting hemoglobin levels, such as an iron-rich diet and body-mass index.

Moreover, researchers found that as the disease progressed and the anemia got worse across the board for all children, the hemoglobin gap between white and black children widened. This finding suggests that as the disease progresses, pediatric nephrologists should monitor even more vigilantly hemoglobin levels in their African-American patients.

"What we are observing could very well mean that black children's hemoglobin levels start to plummet once they reach a certain point in their disease," Atkinson said.

Untreated, chronic anemia can speed disease progression and, over time, can lead to a dangerous thickening of the heart muscle called left-ventricular hypertrophy, among other complications.

Chronic kidney disease affects 26 million people in the United States.

The research was funded by the National Kidney Foundation and the Thrasher Research Fund.

Conflict of interest disclosure: Meredith Atkinson received funding from Amgen Inc., which manufactures anemia treatment medications, among other products. The terms of this arrangement is managed by The Johns Hopkins University in accordance with its conflict-of-interest policies.

Co-investigators in the study included Christopher Pierce, M.H.S., and Rachel Zack, B.A., of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Gina-Marie Barletta, M.D., Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Ora Yadin, M.D., Mattel Children's Hospital at University of California-Los Angeles; Mark Mentser, M.D., Ohio State University; Bradley Warady, M.D., Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., and Susan Furth, M.D., Ph.D., Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Meredith A. Atkinson, Christopher B. Pierce, Rachel M. Zack, Gina-Marie Barletta, Ora Yadin, Mark Mentser, Bradley A. Warady, Susan L. Furth. Hemoglobin Differences by Race in Children With CKD. American Journal of Kidney Diseases, 2010; DOI: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.12.040

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Anemia tougher to tackle in black children with kidney disease, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427070843.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2010, April 27). Anemia tougher to tackle in black children with kidney disease, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427070843.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Anemia tougher to tackle in black children with kidney disease, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100427070843.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins