UNM receives grant to study kidney disease in Native Americans | KOB 4

UNM receives grant to study kidney disease in Native Americans

Patrick Hayes
September 07, 2019 06:39 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—The University of New Mexico received a grant from the National Institute of Health to study kidney disease in Native Americans.


While the number of Native Americans suffering from kidney disease has decreased over the years, they are still among the most vulnerable to the disease.

UNM professor Vallabh “Raj” Shah said Native American populations have been underrepresented in studies because they take place in different parts of the country. In New Mexico, Native Americans make up about 10% of the state’s population.

"In New Mexico, if you look at Native Americans we have more than 23 different communities,” Dr. Shah said. “I'm not going to call them pueblos or reservations. I just call them communities."

Five hundred Native Americans who have chronic kidney disease will be recruited for the study. The $3.5 million dollar grant will be for five years. The study will help doctors see how the disease progresses in Native Americans compared to other populations.

"Kidney disease in America today is also very high. Almost 15% across the nation. However, Native Americans are 2.2% higher than others including Hispanics and African Americans,” Shah said.

Shah said he will spend the next 18 months recruited Native Americans with the disease. It will be about five years until the results are revealed.


Patrick Hayes

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