Congratulations to Dr. Tanya Johns from Johns Hopkins University, first place winner for the NKF National Young Investigators Forum for Clinical Research. Dr. Johns study focused on how neighborhood poverty influences racial differences in mortality among young adults initiating dialysis in the U.S. It has been shown previously that African Americans receiving dialysis have better survival than Caucasians receiving dialysis but these differences are not uniform across age groups. Using data from the U.S. Renal Data System, Dr. Johns examined the association between low socioeconomic status, defined by living in a zip-code area with => 20% of living below the federal poverty line, with overall mortality among incident dialysis patients. She limited the analysis to adults between the ages of 18-30 years of age who initiated dialysis during years 2006-2009. Among the 11, 027 patients included in the analysis, 58% were white and 42% were African-American. During a median follow-up of 23 months, more African Americans died than Caucasians (14.6% vs. 8.8%). After stratifying by low socioeconomic status and adjusting for dialysis modality and co-morbidities, African Americans had a 39% higher mortality risk compared to Caucasians but this higher risk was only noted patients with low socioeconomic status. Thus, young African Americans with low socioeconomic status do not have better survival than Caucasians. The National Young Investigators Forum was supported by an educational donation provided by AMGEN.
Post written by Dr. Holly Kramer, AJKD Associate Editor.