Does Kidney Disease Run in Your Family?
Does anyone in your family (including grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins) have kidney disease?
Do you have high blood pressure that is hard to control?
Are you Black, African American, Afro-Latino, Afro-Caribbean or of African ancestry?
Family history can put you at risk for kidney disease. If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions above, consider asking your doctor about a genetic test for kidney disease.
Knowing your genetic makeup can help determine if you are at risk for kidney disease and, ultimately, may help delay or postpone your need for dialysis or kidney transplant.
People who are Black, African American, Afro-Latino, Afro-Caribbean or of African ancestry are at higher risk than other groups for having variations of the APOL1 gene that are connected to early-onset kidney failure (meaning kidney failure that happens earlier in life than is typical, as early as childhood through young adult years).
Genetic Testing: What is it, and Why is it Important?
Genetic testing is a type of medical test that identifies changes in chromosomes, genes or proteins. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder.
Please talk to your family doctor or kidney doctor about the importance of knowing if you are at risk for genetic kidney disease. Also, ask your doctor to identify a trusted testing site where genetic testing is affordable.
Genetic Testing Resources*
- Natera (www.natera.com)
- Invitae (www.invitae.com)
- APOL1 Gene Testing Services at Wake Forest Innovations (www.apol1genetest.com)
- Rare Genomes Project (www.raregenomes.org)
*Many companies work with patients to help make the test affordable.