Press release

American Kidney Fund Endorses New Race-Free Approach to Diagnose Kidney Disease

ROCKVILLE, Md. (October 5, 2021)  — The American Kidney Fund (AKF) today issues the following statement in response to A Unifying Approach for GFR Estimation: Reassessing the Inclusion of Race in Diagnosing Kidney Disease:

"AKF is firmly committed to reducing inequities in all phases of a patient's kidney disease journey. Consistent with this commitment, we commend the NKF/ASN Task Force for undergoing a very thoughtful, transparent and data-driven process, and for gathering input from the kidney community — including AKF's Medical Advisory Committee — to develop a recommendation for GFR estimation that eliminates race, ultimately a step towards eradicating the 'othering' of people of color in medicine.

"Currently, Black Americans are four times more likely than white Americans to have kidney failure, yet are less likely to receive kidney transplants. We are hopeful the proposed change in GFR estimation will lead to earlier diagnoses of kidney disease for Black Americans particularly, and improve opportunities to slow down the progression to kidney failure.

"Operationalizing the Task Force's recommendations quickly, and adding the use of confirmatory testing, like cystatin C and other markers that are yet to be identified, must be top priorities. In addition, there is still a need to follow the research and continuously evolve GFR estimation and kidney function measurement as one step towards elimination of racial and ethnic disparities in kidney disease.

"Keeping patients at the forefront of discussions about the change in GFR estimation is paramount. A crucial next step will be to develop comprehensive transition and education materials for patients about the new GFR equation and its impact on chronic kidney disease (CKD) care. AKF stands ready to work with patients and stakeholders to integrate the GFR estimation-related changes into current programs as we partner to achieve health equity across the CKD continuum. AKF will continue to build education and awareness programs to incorporate changes that are aligned with our mission of fighting kidney disease on all fronts and helping people live healthier lives."

About the American Kidney Fund

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nonprofit with the greatest direct impact on people with kidney disease. AKF works on behalf of 1 in 7 Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. AKF fights for kidney health for all through programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy. AKF is one of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, investing 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, and holds the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 21 consecutive years and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly known as GuideStar. 

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