Race is not biology. As a social construct, race is an unreliable predictor of physiologic variation and a notoriously unreliable marker for biologic differences across populations.
To reflect this growing realization, hospital systems and professional medical organizations have started reconsidering the use of race in clinical calculators that estimate how well a person’s kidneys work. Indeed, some hospital systems have already removed race from these commonly used clinical tools.
But what this move might mean for patients remains unclear.
Now a new study from Harvard Medical School forecasts the effects of this change if implemented nationwide. The results, published Dec. 2 in JAMA, suggest that removing race from kidney function tests might have both advantages and disadvantages for Black people with kidney disease.
The analysis represents the most comprehensive study to date to assess the impact of eliminating race from kidney…