Ethnic differences in kidney function in childhood: the Born in Bradford Cohort Renal Study

Publication authors

Nida Ziauddeen, Robin F. Jeffrey, Dagmar Waiblinger, Simon D.S. Fraser, Nisreen A. Alwan , Ho M. Yuen, Rafaq Azad, Dan Mason, John Wright, Richard J.M. Coward, Paul J. Roderick


Background: Endstage kidney failure rates are higher in South Asians than in White Europeans. Low birth weight is associated with adult chronic kidney disease and is more common in South Asians. Foetal kidney size was smaller in South Asians in the Born in Bradford (BiB) birth cohort. As part of BiB follow up, we aimed to investigate if there were ethnic differences in kidney function and blood pressure in early childhood and whether this was mediated by foetal kidney size.
Methods: Serum creatinine, cystatin C, urea, and urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR), protein to creatinine ratio (PCR) and retinol binding protein (RBP) were analysed in blood and urine samples from those who participated in the BiB follow-up at 7-11 years. Ethnicity was categorised by parental self-report as White European and South Asian. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated using Schwartz, and cystatin C Zappitelli and Filler equations. Linear regression was used to examine the association between ethnicity and eGFR, PCR and blood pressure.
Results: 1591 children provided blood (n=1403) or urine (n=625) samples. Mean eGFR was 92 ml/min/1.73m2 (standard deviation (SD) 9) using Schwartz (n=1156) and 94 (SD 11) using Zappitelli (n=1257). CKD prevalence was rare (1 with eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73m2, 14 (2.4%) had raised ACR (>2.5 mg/mmol in boys/3.5 mg/mmol in girls). Diastolic blood pressure was higher in South Asian children (difference 2.04 mmHg, 95% CI 0.99 to 3.10) but was not significant in adjusted analysis. There was no evidence of association in adjusted models between ethnicity and any eGFR or urinary measure at this age.
Conclusions: There was no evidence of significant ethnic differences in kidney function at pre-pubertal age despite differences in kidney volume at birth. Longitudinal follow-up is required to track ethnic patterns in kidney function and blood pressure as children develop through puberty.