Excess Protein in Urine Is Indicator of Heart Disease Risk in Whites, but Not Blacks, Study Suggests

Science Daily, January 12, 2011

The cardiovascular risk that is associated with proteinuria, or high levels of protein in the urine, a common test used by doctors as an indicator of increased risk for progressive kidney disease, heart attack and stroke, has race-dependent effects, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

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“Proteinuria, a long accepted indicator of heart disease risk, has far less impact on blacks than it does on whites,” said Barry Freedman, M.D., John H. Felts III Professor, chief of the Section on Nephrology, and lead researcher on the study. “In the medical community, it is believed that the more protein in a patient’s urine, the greater the risk for heart disease and stroke, and this is true–in white populations. Our study indicates that excess protein in the urine–a common finding with progressive kidney disease in individuals with diabetes–is strongly associated with calcium deposition in the major arteries in white patients, but not in black patients. Therefore, proteinuria appears to be associated with an increased risk of heart attack in the white ethnic group. There may be biologic factors predisposing whites to heart disease or protecting blacks from developing it.”

In the general community, blacks have more heart disease risk factors than whites, including higher blood pressures and LDL (known as “bad”) cholesterol levels, and higher blood sugars in patients with diabetes, Freedman explained. As such, they face a higher risk for heart attack than whites, he said.

However, several large studies have shown that despite having more risk factors for hardening of the arteries, black men had less calcium in the heart arteries–one-eighth the amount–compared to white men. In addition, given access to equivalent healthcare as whites, blacks with diabetes face only half the risk of a heart attack, indicating that blacks appear to somehow be protected from the cardiovascular effects of these risk factors, Freedman said.

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  • anonymous

    All of which proves that today’s large populations are descended from small isolated populations which evolved or developed specific characteristics. People who are “the same” do have something in common.

  • Madison Grant

    What a ridiculous article! Don’t they know that race is a social construct dreamed up by white supremacists in order to justify slavery and colonialism? And that we’re all the same under the skin?

    After all, that’s what Richard Lewontin, Tim Wise and the late Steven Jay Gould have always said and those geniuses could never be wrong.

  • Beetlejuice

    Therefore, proteinuria appears to be associated with an increased risk of heart attack in the white ethnic group.

    I suspect this is the last we’ll hear about this, a report of findings and nothing more. Even reports such as this will disappear if they’re about whites.

    After all it affects whites, so no money will be granted to develop drugs or protocols for treatment, no proposals will be made to start experimental treatments. This will be forgotten and shoved down the memory hole. If it were blacks, millions of white tax dollars would already be flowing for further research or the search for a “cure” for proteinuria.

    When Obamacare comes on line (and it WILL), there will be NO treatment for whites. After waiting your proper turn behind blacks and illegal immigrants, four or five months or longer, you will be handed a placebo or pain pill and told to go home and not come back. The only “cure” for whites is death.

  • Ciccio

    Another misguided study that does not see the forest for the trees. Principal source of calcium: Dairy products. Hardly any in the native African diet – it is too hot, it does not keep at all.