Study Links Genes to Kidney Disease Risk

BALTIMORE, April 15 (UPI) — U.S. and European scientists say they have identified more than a dozen genes that might play a role in common forms of kidney disease.

The team, known as the CKDGen Consortium, said it examined common variations in DNA sequences in more than 65,000 individuals of European descent. Common variations in several genes were found to be more frequent among people with poor kidney function or chronic kidney disease than in those with normal kidney function. The researchers said they confirmed their findings in more than 20,000 additional individuals.

“We’ve known for a long time that diabetes, hypertension and family history are strong risk factors for kidney disease, but we have not been able to fully understand why,” said Johns Hopkins Associate Professor Linda Kao. “These findings will ultimately shed light on how and why kidney disease clusters in families and why it occurs in some individuals but not others.”

Dr. Anna Kottgen, an assistant professor in Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, said the research will also reveal more basic information underlying kidney function and disease.

“These novel insights can form a foundation to improve prevention and therapy of kidney diseases,” Kottgen added.

The findings are reported in the journal Nature Genetics.

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