UW Health, medical school switch kidney test to improve healthcare equity

UW Health and University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison are eliminating race from a routinely used formula that estimates kidney function in a move to improve equity in healthcare, officials announced Oct. 1.

Arjang Djamali, MD, professor at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and UW Health nephrologist, said that a formerly used formula to estimate kidney function could overestimate the kidney function of Black patients and lead to care delays for Black patients. 

UW Health now uses a confirmatory biological blood test, known as cystatin C-based GFR test, that does not include race. 

UW Health, a seven-hospital system, began using the alternative test Oct 1. 


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