“Forty million Americans have end-stage kidney disease, or ESKD. About 500,000 of them are in the terminal stage. ..African- and Hispanic Americans have a double-to-quadruple risk for the fatal disorder, compared to Caucasians of European origin.

Now an Israeli research team has discovered new genetic data on a DNA region that could predict who will develop the disease, and eventually help millions of people of African ancestry, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

So far, the only ways to prolong their lives are undergoing dialysis a few times a week or getting a kidney transplant.

The team’s findings so far, said Skorecki, can already advance the use of early genetic screening for people at high risk for the disorder so it can be prevented. Future comparative genetic research could help identify the specific mutation responsible for ESKD and provide a better understanding of what mechanism causes irreversible damage to the kidneys’ glomeruli (which filter out the toxins from the blood) – even leading to new medical treatments.

The Skorecki team – which included Dr. Doron Behar and colleagues from Rambam, Tel Aviv University, Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem and the US National Institutes of Health – went further and discovered important new genetic data that explained the high prevalence of the kidney disease among people of African origin. They also realized that Hispanic Americans, who have a combination of Central African, European and Native American ancestry, are therefore also at higher risk, but not as high as African-Americans, who have mostly genes of Central African origin. About 30 percent of the global genetic ancestry among Hispanic Americans could be attributed to the African genetic component, they wrote.”-Jerusalem Post