Med School Changes Kidney Function Test in Order to Address Systemic Racism

by Penka Arsova
LaCorte News

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, in an effort to combat systemic racism, is proposing a different method for determining kidney function that does not factor in race.

The story: The school published a press release saying they will address systemic racism, in part by calling for a change of the current method used to estimate kidney function. The press release points to arguments from professor Arjang Djamali, who is also a UW Health nephrologist.

Why? The current formula used to measure glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is based on the amount of creatinine found in the blood. To determine whether someone’s kidneys function properly, they look at those numbers and take into consideration the race of the person. Race was added as a factor after some studies showed that black people are more likely to have a higher GFP than white people, on account of having more muscle mass.

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