As end-stage renal disease (ESRD) has a four times higher incidence in African Americans compared to European Americans, we hypothesized that susceptibility alleles for ESRD have a higher frequency in the West African than the European gene pool. We carried out a genome-wide admixture scan in 1,372 ESRD cases and 806 controls and found a highly significant association between excess African ancestry and nondiabetic ESRD (lod score = 5.70) but not diabetic ESRD (lod = 0.47) on chromosome 22q12. Each copy of the European ancestral allele conferred a relative risk of 0.50 (95% CI = 0.39-0.63) compared to African ancestry. Multiple common SNPs (allele frequencies ranging from 0.2 to 0.6) in the gene encoding nonmuscle myosin heavy chain type II isoform A (MYH9) were associated with two to four times greater risk of nondiabetic ESRD and accounted for a large proportion of the excess risk of ESRD observed in African compared to European Americans.
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