Study shows – individuals with sickle cell trait (SCT) have a two-fold increased risk of developing end-stage renal disease (ESRD)

The adjusted prevalence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is currently 3.4 times higher in Blacks than Whites1. Environmental and clinical factors however, are not the only contributing factors. Sickle Cell Disease has since long been identified as a significant factor in kidney function decline. A recently published study2 by the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology now shows that individuals with the sickle cell trait (SCT) are already at a much higher risk of CKD. “In conclusion, in a large, population-based study of blacks from throughout the contiguous United States, SCT was associated with two-fold increased risk of progression to ESRD.”

The findings of this study could have a significant impact on current screening policies. SCT screening is being performed in all 50 states as part of the Newborn Screening Program for Sickle Cell Disease. The study investigators suggest that “doctors can use this information to start screening for kidney disease earlier and to aggressively treat any other risk factors you may have such as diabetes or high blood pressure”3.