Be APOL1 Aware This AMKD Awareness Day

April not only signifies National Minority Health Month but also holds significance on April 30, designated as National APOL1-Mediated Kidney Disease (AMKD) Day. These observances play a pivotal role in shedding light on the health inequities faced by racial and ethnic minority groups, particularly in kidney health. As Spectrum commemorates these events, it is imperative to recognize the pioneering efforts aimed at raising awareness of AMKD and driving early diagnosis.

As a rare and rapidly progressive genetic form of proteinuric kidney disease, AMKD can be a fast track to kidney failure for chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients of African ancestry. Shockingly, statistics reveal that patients with AMKD progress to dialysis 9 to 12 years earlier than those without AMKD. Despite this, AMKD often goes undetected, with diagnoses not going deeper than CKD.

Everyone has the APOL1 gene, but people of African ancestry, including people who self-identify as Black, African American, African, Afro-Caribbean, and/or Latino/Latina, are more likely to have variants of the gene that put them at risk for AMKD. In fact, it is estimated that 13% of Black Americans have two APOL1 risk variants that put them at greater risk of developing kidney disease or failure.

With AMKD being a relatively new disease, healthcare providers might not feel like they have the necessary resources and latest updates to consider genetic testing for their patients. Which is why the American Kidney Fund aims to equip and empower healthcare providers with the education needed to quickly identify and test patients for AMKD.

The significance of this work extends beyond awareness-raising; it embodies a commitment to addressing health disparities and promoting equitable access to healthcare through education. By amplifying the conversation around AMKD, Spectrum is not only honoring the legacy of National Minority Health Month but also catalyzing tangible action towards early detection and diagnosis of this rare disease.

To learn more, we encourage you to check out

Like what you see?
let’s talk