Change supports health equity and improves health outcomes
BURLINGTON, N.C., March 2, 2022 — Labcorp (NYSE: LH), a leading global life sciences company, today announced a change to the calculation used for its estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) test, a test that measures kidney function. The new equation removes the race-based coefficient found in prior equations and is recommended by the National Kidney Foundation and the American Society of Nephrology’s Task Force (NKF-ASN Task Force) on Reassessing the Inclusion of Race in Diagnosing Kidney Disease. Labcorp implemented the testing change on Feb. 28, 2022.
One of the primary ways to assess kidney function and diagnose kidney disease is by estimating how well the kidneys are filtering impurities in the blood. Previous eGFR equations included a race coefficient to adjust for the race of the individual being tested. The new recommendation is to change the calculation of the eGFR using the serum or blood test for creatinine to the new CKD-EPI 2021 eGFR equation, which does not include race. New eGFR values will be slightly lower in individuals who identify as Black and/or African American, and slightly higher in other individuals. The equation has similar overall performance characteristics to CKD-EPI 2009 and should not disproportionately affect any one group of individuals.
“After extensive research, external input and evaluation, the NKF-ASN Task Force found that the new eGFR calculations take into account diversity, which minimizes potential consequences that disproportionately affect any one group of individuals,” said Joseph Vassalotti, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the National Kidney Foundation. “Removing race correction from clinical algorithms is important to society to avoid implying a biologic cause for race, which is a social construct. We are excited to work with Labcorp to implement the new eGFR calculation.”
In addition, Labcorp is also enhancing test panels that provide convenient combinations of current test offerings to include an updated eGFR calculation, using both creatinine and cystatin C. Those profiles will be available during the second quarter of 2022 and should better help health care professionals make better decisions for the patients under their care.
“As we look to improve health and improve lives, Labcorp continues to seek ways to support health equity and reduce health care disparities across the country,” said Dr. Jennifer Ennis, medical director of Labcorp Diagnostics and nephrologist. “eGFR is measured hundreds of millions of times each year by laboratories in the United States. Our goal is to provide physicians with the most current testing options and the necessary resources to make better informed diagnoses and treatment decisions, ultimately leading to more positive outcomes for patients.”
If you have had an eGFR test in the past and would like to know if your result has changed under the new equation, please visit: https://www.kidney.org/professionals/kdoqi/gfr_calculator
For more information about Kidney Disease: https://www.kidney.org/
Labcorp is a leading global life sciences company that provides vital information to help doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, researchers, and patients make clear and confident decisions. Through our unparalleled diagnostics and drug development capabilities, we provide insights and accelerate innovations to improve health and improve lives. With over 75,000 employees, we serve clients in more than 100 countries. Labcorp (NYSE: LH) reported revenue of $16 billion in FY2021. Learn more about us at www.Labcorp.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @Labcorp.
About National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit www.kidney.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about the registry, visit NKFPatientNetwork.org.
Media: Christopher Allman-Bradshaw — 336-436-8263