The Renal Division Research Team has identified a reason for the high rate of kidney disease in people of African descent. Kidney disease is five times more likely to affect African Americans than other groups of people, and the team is actively working to alleviate this epidemic. This is a major public health problem and this research, which may lead to major advances in treatment, is unique to BIDMC. Dialysis is not a cure. Fewer than 40 percent of dialysis patients live more than five years. Rates of kidney failure are increasing and the cost to treat those patients continues to rise each year. In 2009, $42.5 billion was spent to provide care to those with kidney failure. Over the next three to five years, the Renal Division Research Team aims to use their findings to better understand, prevent, and treat kidney disease in African Americans. They plan to develop a multifaceted approach to solving this problem that will be highly visible and have a large impact on the lives of individuals and their families.