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Why American Indians have higher rates of cardiovascular and chronic kidney diseases

Washington, April 16 (ANI): Scientists at the University of North Carolina Kidney Center have come up with an explanation as to why American Indians at a greater risk of developing proteinuria — a condition that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease (CKD) — than other groups.

Dr. Amy Mottl and her colleagues say that these differences exist as genetic variation likely accounts for part of their increased risks.

During a study, Amy and her colleagues tried to find out whether they could identify the genetic causes of American Indians’ increased risk for proteinuria.

Studying about 3,500 individuals from 13 American Indian tribes enrolled in the Strong Heart Family Study funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the researchers found multiple chromosomal regions that may possess genes that influence variation in proteinuria, especially in the setting of diabetes or hypertension.

Amy said that the findings of her team were preliminary, and that further research was required to detect which genes influence one’s proteinuria risk.

“Further exploration of the candidate genes underlying the chromosomes implicated in our study is warranted,” the authors wrote.

The researchers believe that their work may be helpful in advancing scientists’ understanding as to how proteinuria arises, and, thereby, enable the development of new strategies for prevention and treatment.

While this study focused on American Indians, its findings likely apply to the general population as well, where the prevalence of proteinuria is rising.

The study has been published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). (ANI)

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