A new study says Aboriginal children are two to three times more likely to have kidney failure than Caucasian children.

Dr. Susan Samuel of the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary led the research.

She says Aboriginal boys are twice as likely to have kidney failure when compared to Caucasian boys — while Aboriginal girls are three times as likely to have kidney failure than Caucasian girls.

Researchers think they know why.

They say Aboriginal children tend to have more problems like kidney inflamation than non-Aboriginal children do.

However, if the problem is caught early, Samuel says kidney disease can be prevented.

She says the key is to do biopsies early enough to discover the problem:

“This practice may, in the future, help us detect the condition — which may lead to curative treatments with immunosuppressants and so on, and can reduce the progression to kidney failure.”

The study has just been published in the latest edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.