The Accelerating Excellence In Translational Science (AXIS)Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science

Friday, December 06, 2013
Dr. Satyesh Sinha’s research highlighted at ASN Conference 

At the American Society of Nephrology Conference, Satyesh  K. Sinha recently presented the findings of his study relevant to chronic kidney disease in minorities.  The annual conference took place earlier this November in Atlanta, Georgia.  Dr. Sinha’s study, “Elevated Levels of C-Reactive Protein Identify African Americans with Metabolic Syndrome at High Risk of Developing Albuminuria” was presented at a poster session.  The findings suggest that African Americans with metabolic syndrome and subclinical inflammation may be at greater risk of developing albuminuria than those in other ethnic groups.  Dr. Sinha is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science.


“Metabolic syndrome” refers to a cluster of symptoms and risk factors which identify individuals with increased cardiovascular risk.  It is often a precursor to diabetes and high blood pressure.  It is also associated with systemic inflammation and albuminuria , and it has been recognized a risk factor for chronic kidney disease.   


Previous studies have indicated that African Americans have an increased risk of chronic kidney disease compared to whites.  What has been less clear is the role of inflammation in accounting for these disparities. 


Working with other researchers at CDU and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Dr. Sinha and colleagues sought to gather more data on this and other questions.  The study utilized data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey Examination (1999-2008) conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics.  The researchers examined data from 7,309 adults with metabolic syndrome.  Participants were also categorized as having or not having albuminuria (using a cut-off of 30 ug/ml urinary albumin excretion).  In their analysis, the researchers controlled for possible confounding variables such as gender, age, smoking status, urinary albumin excretion (UAE) and components of metabolic syndrome.


On analysis, the researchers found significant differences between ethnic groups in multiple clinical parameters, including c-reactive protein (CRP, an inflammatory marker), smoking status, blood pressure, body mass index, total cholesterol, triglycerides, hemoglobin A1c, and UAE.  Both CRP and UAE were significantly higher in African Americans compared to whites or Hispanics, even when controlling for confounding factors.  Hispanics had significantly higher levels of UAE (but not CRP) compared to whites.  Additionally, adjusted linear regression showed a significant association between CRP and UAE, and this relationship was modified by race/ethnicity.


In an interview for, Dr. Sinha noted, “The results suggest that elevated levels of subclinical inflammation in African American patients with metabolic syndrome may increase the associated risk of developing albuminuria, one of the important biomarkers for chronic kidney disease. However, this is a cross sectional study, and needs further investigation to establish these findings.”  He also suggested that future studies should consider the role of inflammatory molecules (such as CRP) in the development of chronic kidney patients with metabolic syndrome, particularly in ethnic minorities.


This research complements other work done in Dr. Sinha’s research group on the role of inflammation in diabetic kidney disease (a major form of chronic kidney disease).  The group is attempting to find molecular mechanisms responsible for racial/ethnic disparities in diabetic kidney disease.  The full interview with Dr. Sinha can be found at