Kidney Health & the Black Race Coefficient


Did you know that the way kidney function is measured, can differ between Black patients and White patients by up to 5 points? This can impact how equitable access to life-saving organ transplant surgeries and dialysis is. Glomular Filtration Rate (GFR) is a standard of measurement used to see how effectively the kidneys are flushing waste from the body. In the 1990’s, many medical practitioners added a Black Race Coefficient based on a limited study that seemed to suggest that Black patients had naturally higher creatinine levels than White patients. Research now shows and suggests that the use of the Black race coefficient in GFR formulas has the potential to disadvantage the Black patient population through an overestimation of health due to an artificially inflated GFR number – and also suggests it may not be accurate at all due to the limitations of the original study. More on that and those advocating for a race-neutral formula to be equitably used for everyone is available here.