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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2008 Jul;19(7):1261-70. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2008030276. Epub 2008 Jun 4.

Race, gender, and socioeconomic disparities in CKD in the United States.

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  • 1Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, 1731 East 120th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90059, USA.


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a national public health problem beset by inequities in incidence, prevalence, and complications across gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. As health care providers, we can directly address some factors crucial for closing the disparities gap. Other factors are seemingly beyond our reach, entrenched within the fabric of our society, such as social injustice and human indifference. Paradoxically, the existence of health inequities provides unique, unrecognized opportunities for understanding biologic, environmental, sociocultural, and health care system factors that can lead to improved clinical outcomes. Several recent reports documented that structured medical care systems can reduce many CKD-related disparities and improve patient outcomes. Can the moral imperative to eliminate CKD inequities inspire the nephrology community not only to advocate for but also to demand high-quality, structured health care delivery systems for all Americans in the context of social reform that improves the ecology, health, and well-being of our communities? If so, then perhaps we can eliminate the unacceptable premature morbidity and mortality associated with CKD and the tragedy of health inequities. By so doing, we could become global leaders not only in medical technology, as we currently are, but also in health promotion and disease prevention, truly leaving no patient behind.

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