CR Recognizes Importance of ASN-NKF Joint Task Force on Examining Race Adjustments in eGFR

By ASN Staff

September 18, 2020

Consumer Reports (CR) recently published an article, “Medical Algorithms Have a Race Problem,” which recognized the potential impact ASN and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) could have through their joint task force to reassess the inclusion of race in diagnosing kidney disease.  

“If the [task force] recommends removing race, the decision could ripple across the U.S., reaching community clinics and rural hospitals that may be less likely to push for controversial changes than teaching hospitals in major cities,” the author, Kaveh Waddell, points out. 

Co-chaired by Cynthia Delgado, MD, FASN, and Neil R. Powe, MD, FASN, the task force plans to issue its initial recommendations later this year. “It is important that any change in eGFR reporting carefully consider the multiple social and clinical implications, be based on rigorous science, and be part of a national conversation about uniform reporting of eGFR across health care systems,” an ASN-NKF joint statement observes. “The task force will keep laboratories, clinicians, and other kidney health professionals apprised of any potential long-term implications of removing race from the eGFR formula."

Of the more than 37 million people with kidney diseases in the United States, a disproportionate number are of African, Latino, and Native American descent. ASN has been working to advance efforts to achieve equality to reduce the adverse impact of racism, especially on health and in health care. 

The society recently held the webinar, “Going Beyond the Statement: Dismantling Systemic Racism in Nephrology,” which featured various viewpoints on racism in kidney care, social determinants of health, diversifying the nephrology pipeline, race-based diagnostic measures, and barriers to career advancement.

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Consumer Reports (CR) recently published an article, “Medical Algorithms Have a Race Problem,” which recognized the potential impact ASN and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) could have through their joint task force to reassess the inclusion of race in diagnosing kidney disease.  

“If the [task force] recommends removing race, the decision could ripple across the U.S., reaching community clinics and rural hospitals that may be less likely to push for controversial changes than teaching hospitals in major cities,” the author, Kaveh Waddell, points out. 

Co-chaired by Cynthia Delgado, MD, FASN, and Neil R. Powe, MD, FASN, the task force plans to issue its initial recommendations later this year. “It is important that any change in eGFR reporting carefully consider the multiple social and clinical implications, be based on rigorous science, and be part of a national conversation about uniform reporting of eGFR across health care systems,” an ASN-NKF joint statement observes. “The task force will keep laboratories, clinicians, and other kidney health professionals apprised of any potential long-term implications of removing race from the eGFR formula."

Of the more than 37 million people with kidney diseases in the United States, a disproportionate number are of African, Latino, and Native American descent. ASN has been working to advance efforts to achieve equality to reduce the adverse impact of racism, especially on health and in health care. 

The society recently held the webinar, “Going Beyond the Statement: Dismantling Systemic Racism in Nephrology,” which featured various viewpoints on racism in kidney care, social determinants of health, diversifying the nephrology pipeline, race-based diagnostic measures, and barriers to career advancement.

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Friday, September 18, 2020