This is the author's final draft of the paper published as Blood Purification, 2010, 29 (2), pp. 125-129. The final version is available from http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?doi=10.1159/000245638. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel. Doi: 10.1159/000245638There are significant ethnic variations in the incidence of kidney disease. White European populations appear to be uniquely protected compared to increased incidences of end-stage renal disease in indigenous and migrant ethnic minority populations. This increase is partly explained by a high prevalence of diabetic nephropathy, but there is also an increased susceptibility to a range of other renal diseases. The relative contributions of genetic, environmental and fetal environmental factors to this susceptibility are not yet well understood. Strategies for early detection and management of chronic kidney disease to delay progression are particularly critical in countries where access to renal replacement therapy (RRT) is restricted. In developed countries with wide availability of RRT, resources to provide dialysis will need to be increased in regions with substantial minority populations. There is apparently counterintuitive evidence that survival on dialysis is increased in many minority populations. Access to renal transplantation, both from deceased and living donors, is also restricted in many minority populations, and graft survival is often inferior. Analysis of the explanations for these differences is complex because of the many confounding factors (for example cultural, social and economic) which typically cosegregate with ethnicity. Nevertheless, reduction of the varied and substantial inequities faced by ethnic minority populations with kidney disease is an important responsibility for the renal community
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