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Diagnostics Guidelines and recommendations, Screening and monitoring, Clinical care

Removing Race from the Diagnostic Equation

To reduce racial health disparities, researchers have suggested a new approach for estimating kidney function that removes race from the equation (1). “Our research showed that if you use a blood cystatin C test instead of a blood creatinine test, you don’t need to include race to get a similarly accurate estimate of kidney function,” said Alan S. Go, co-senior author on the study (2).

The results have informed the National Kidney Foundation and the American Society of Nephrology Task Force’s final report on diagnosing kidney disease without a race variable (3). Within the report, the group recommends use of the new eGFR 2021 CKD EPI creatinine equation while increasing use of cystatin C combined with serum creatinine to confirm glomerular filtration rate or kidney function assessment.

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  1. CY Hsu et al., N Engl J Med, [Online ahead of print] (2021). PMID: 34554660.
  2. S Rochman, H Tremblay (2021). Available at:
  3. C Delgado et al., Am J Kidney Dis, 78, 103 (2021). PMID: 33845065.
About the Author
Liv Gaskill

During my undergraduate degree in psychology and Master’s in neuroimaging for clinical and cognitive neuroscience, I realized the tasks my classmates found tedious – writing essays, editing, proofreading – were the ones that gave me the greatest satisfaction. I quickly gathered that rambling on about science in the bar wasn’t exactly riveting for my non-scientist friends, so my thoughts turned to a career in science writing. At Texere, I get to craft science into stories, interact with international experts, and engage with readers who love science just as much as I do.

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