Publications within the past year have added to our understanding of the relationships between race, socioeconomic status, hypertension, and renal disease. The catalog of racial differences in hypertension and renal disease has been enriched on several accounts. Some of these differences can be explained by specific intervening variables, but others remain attributed to race itself. Unfortunately, what 'race' actually represents is still subject to debate. This debate should be encouraged, because the lack of a clear concept of race hinders research in this area. The main new finding of the year may be a confirmation by several studies that low socioeconomic status is an independent risk factor for end-stage renal disease, regardless of race. Research explaining the mechanisms by which poverty affects the risk of kidney failure is urgently needed, as some of these mechanisms may lend themselves to preventive intervention. Interventions aimed at improving the serious socioeconomic consequences of treated end-stage renal disease are also receiving increasing attention, and have been shown to improve patient outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine