Chronic kidney disease emerging trends in children and what to do about it

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of the National Medical Association




African American; Children; Chronic kidney disease; Race/Ethnicity


Chronic Kidney disease (CKD) is a major public health problem associated with increased health costs, morbidity, and mortality. There is a 30-fold higher mortality rate and severely impaired quality of life in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD), requiring dialysis or kidney transplant compared to the aged-match general population. The early diagnosis and treatment of pediatric CKD can reverse, delay or prevent progression to advanced kidney disease. It is worth noting that CKD with rapid progression, which carries a poor prognosis, is more common in African American children. Thus, the development of a universal pediatric CKD screening program for high-risk children can be vital for social equity. The disparity in prevalence and severity of CKD is likely due to a complex interaction between biological and nonbiological risk factors that influence the development and progression of CKD in children of African descent. For example, high-risk alleles in the gene encoding for apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) have been recognized as the most important factor in the high incidence of some chronic kidney diseases in African Americans. In this review, we will focus on the trends in the incidence of pediatric CKD and management strategies aimed at enhancing health outcomes and reducing disease progression.