Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have discovered that variations in a gene called APOL1 explain why transplanted kidneys from some African American donors don’t last as long as others. The study showed that 2 copies of the recessive gene hindered kidney survival. The genetic anomaly, affecting 10 to 12 percent of African Americans, is linked with an increased risk of kidney disease. Researchers hope that these findings will result in better transplant outcomes and improved screening to protect living kidney donors who might develop chronic kidney disease later in life.
Genes, Not Race, Determine Donor Kidney Survival, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, May 10, 2011