Simon Jiang, lead author of the study from ANU’s College of Health and Medicine, said the finding could have major implications for Tiwi Islanders.
The Tiwi Islands consist of two inhabited and nine uninhabited islands off Australia’s north coast in the Timor Sea.
The islands’ Aboriginal population of approximately 2,500 has the highest recorded rates of kidney disease in the world.
“This discovery has big implications for Tiwi Islanders,” Jiang said in a media release.
“Their rates are four times the rates of other mainland Indigenous Australians and about 11 times that of non-Indigenous Australians,” Jiang said, adding that this mutation is highly prevalent in Tiwi Islanders who have high rates of kidney disease.
Figures from the Australian health authorities suggested that about one in 10 Australian adults show some signs of chronic kidney disease. There were 16,800 CKD-related deaths in Australia in 2018.