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What's Causing Kidney Failures in Blacks?

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A gene researchers call MYH9 could explain kidney disease in many African-Americans, according to CNN.com. In the past, doctors attributed the high cases of kidney failure among African-Americans to hypertension. But researchers say the MYH9 gene is the "most powerful genetic cause." About 70 percent of African-Americans with non-diabetic forms of kidney disease have this gene. And most of them end up on dialysis. MYH9 also gives carriers a higher risk of kidney disease associated with HIV. Every African-American doesn't have to be screened for this gene. Screening would be most useful for those who have close relatives on dialysis or want to donate kidneys.—MB

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