The National Kidney Foundation and American Society of Nephrology Task Force on Reassessing the Inclusion of Race in Diagnosing Kidney Disease recently recommended a new race-free creatinine-based equation for eGFR. The effect on recommended clinical care across race and ethnicity groups is unknown.
We analyzed nationally representative cross-sectional questionnaires and medical examinations from 44,360 participants collected between 2001 and 2018 by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We quantified the number and proportion of Black, White, Hispanic, and Asian/Other adults with guideline-recommended changes in care.
The new equation, if applied nationally, could assign new CKD diagnoses to 434,000 (95% confidence interval [CI], 350,000 to 517,000) Black adults, reclassify 584,000 (95% CI, 508,000 to 667,000) to more advanced stages of CKD, restrict kidney donation eligibility for 246,000 (95% CI, 189,000 to 303,000), expand nephrologist referrals for 41,800 (95% CI, 19,800 to 63,800), and reduce medication dosing for 222,000 (95% CI, 169,000 to 275,000). Among non-Black adults, these changes may undo CKD diagnoses for 5.51 million (95% CI, 4.86 million to 6.16 million), reclassify 4.59 million (95% CI, 4.28 million to 4.92 million) to less advanced stages of CKD, expand kidney donation eligibility for 3.96 million (95% CI, 3.46 million to 4.46 million), reverse nephrologist referral for 75,800 (95% CI, 35,400 to 116,000), and reverse medication dose reductions for 1.47 million (95% CI, 1.22 million to 1.73 million). The racial and ethnic mix of the populations used to develop eGFR equations has a substantial effect on potential care changes.
The newly recommended 2021 CKD-EPI creatinine-based eGFR equation may result in substantial changes to recommended care for US patients of all racial and ethnic groups.

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