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Race/Ethnicity and Kidney Disease

African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans are more at risk for kidney disease.  This may be because these groups tend to have higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure, the two leading causes of kidney failure.  Access to healthcare and other factors may also contribute.

If you are at risk for kidney disease, ask your doctor how often you should be tested. If you catch and treat kidney disease early, you may be able to slow it down!

If you are in a group at higher risk for kidney disease, there are some things you can do to help protect yourself:

  1. Get tested.  Talk to your doctor about being tested for diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease.  Many patients with kidney disease never have any symptoms until it is too late.  Ask your doctor to perform a blood and urine test to test for kidney disease.
  2. Eat right.  Eat foods low in fat and cholesterol. Eat foods that are high in fiber. Limit how much alcohol you drink.
  3. Live healthy.  Exercise, keep a healthy weight, don’t smoke or use tobacco, and treat bladder and kidney infections fast.
  4. Manage diabetes and high blood pressure. Diabetes and high blood pressure cause about 2 out of 3 cases of kidney failure. If you have either or both conditions, talk to your doctor about how to keep them in control. Download our brochures, "Diabetes and Your Kidneys" and "High Blood Pressure and Your Kidneys".

Kidney Disease Risks Among African-Americans

Kidney Disease Risks Among Hispanics

Kidney Disease Risks Among Native Americans

Kidney Disease Risks Among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Kidney Disease Risks Among African-Americans

African-Americans are more at risk for kidney failure than any other race. Nearly 1 in 3 kidney failure patients living in the United States is African-American. That is nearly 200,000 people!

Although we are not exactly sure why African-Americans are more at risk, diabetes, high blood pressure and access to health care play a big part.

Diabetes is the #1 cause of kidney failure.  It causes nearly 40% of all cases in the United States. Diabetes is a serious problem for African-Americans:

African-Americans get diabetes more often.

  • African-Americans are almost twice as likely as whites to have diabetes.
  • About 1 in 9 (11.4%) African-American adults has diabetes.
  • Over the last 35 years, the number of people with diabetes has doubled.

Diabetes affects African-Americans differently.

  • African-Americans with diabetes develop kidney failure more often than whites.
  • Diabetes causes heart disease and other problems in African-American more often than whites.

Many African-Americans don't know they have diabetes.

  • About 1 in 3 African-Americans with diabetes does not know he or she has it.

High Blood Pressure is the #2 cause of kidney failure.  It causes about 1 out of 4 cases (25%) in the United States. High blood pressure is a serious problem for African Americans:

African-Americans get high blood pressure more often.

  • Almost half (over 42%) of African-American adults have high blood pressure.

High blood pressure affects African-Americans differently.

  • African-Americans are six times as likely to get kidney failure from their high blood pressure than whites.

Almost 1 in 5 African-Americans is uninsured.  If diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease are caught early, they can usually be managed.  However, almost 1 in 5 African-Americans is not insured.  As a result, their health care choices may be limited.

Kidney Disease Risks Among Hispanics

Hispanics are more at risk for kidney failure than some other races.  Did you know that 1 in 8 kidney failure patients living in the United States is Hispanic?  That is almost  60,000 people!

Although we are not exactly sure why Hispanics are more at risk, diabetes, high blood pressure and access to health care play a big part.

Diabetes is the #1 cause of kidney failure.  It causes nearly 40% of all cases in the United States.  Diabetes is a serious problem for Hispanics:

Hispanics get diabetes more often.

  • Hispanics are almost twice as likely than whites to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a physician.
  • About 1 in 10 (9.2%) of Hispanics has diabetes.
  • Diabetes is even more common in older Hispanics.  About 1 in 4 Hispanics over age 45 has diabetes.

Diabetes affects Hispanics differently.

  • Diabetes causes kidney failure more often in Hispanics than whites.

High Blood Pressure is the #2 cause of kidney failure.  It causes about 1 out of 4 cases (25%) in the United States.  High blood pressure is a serious problem for Hispanics:

Hispanics get high blood pressure more often.

  • Almost 1 in 4 (22.5%) Hispanic adults has high blood pressure.

Most Hispanics do not know that high blood pressure can hurt their kidneys.

  • A recent study showed that less than half (46%) of Hispanics know that high blood pressure can cause kidney failure.

Almost 1 in 3 of Hispanics is uninsured.  If diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease are caught early, they can usually be managed.  However, almost 1 in 3 Hispanics living in the U.S. is not insured.  As a result, health care choices may be limited.

Kidney Disease Risks Among Native Americans

Native Americans are more at risk for kidney failure than some other races.  Native Americans are twice as likely to get kidney failure as whites.

Although we are not exactly sure why Native Americans are more at risk, diabetes, high blood pressure and access to health care play a big part.

Diabetes is the #1 cause of kidney failure.  It causes nearly 40% all cases in the United States. Diabetes is a serious problem for Native Americans:

Native Americans get diabetes more often.

  • Native Americans are more than twice as likely than whites to have diabetes.
  • About 1 in 8 (13.2%) Native Americans age 18 or older has diabetes.

Diabetes affects Native Americans differently.

  • Native Americans are twice as likely to die from their diabetes as whites.

High Blood Pressure is the #2 cause of kidney failure.  It causes about 1 out of 4 cases (25%) in the United States.  High blood pressure is a serious problem for Native Americans:

Native Americans get high blood pressure more often.

  • Almost 1 in 3 (almost 30%) of Native American adults has high blood pressure.

Almost 1 in 3 Native Americans is uninsured.  If diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease are caught early, they can usually be managed.  However, almost 1 in 3 Native Americans is not insured.  As a result, health care choices may be limited.

Kidney Disease Risks Among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are more at risk for kidney failure.  Over 21,000 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have kidney failure!
 
Although we are not exactly sure why Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are more at risk, diabetes, high blood pressure and access to health care play a big part.

Diabetes is the #1 cause of kidney failure.  It causes nearly 40% of all cases in the United States.  Overall, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders get diabetes less often than many other groups.  However, diabetes is a serious problem for some groups in certain parts of the country:

In Hawaii and California, Asians, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders get diabetes more often than Whites.

Diabetes affects some Pacific Islanders differently.

  • In Hawaii, Native Hawaiians die from diabetes almost six times as often as Whites. Filipinos living in Hawaii die from diabetes more than three times as often as Whites.
  • Diabetes causes eye disease and other problems in Native Hawaiians more often than whites.

High Blood Pressure is the #2 cause of kidney failure.  It causes about 1 out of 4 cases (25%) in the United States.  High blood pressure is a serious problem for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders:

  • Almost 1 in 5 (over 19%) Asian American and Pacific Islander adults has high blood pressure.

Almost 1 in 6 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is uninsured.  If diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease are caught early, they can usually be managed.  However, almost 1 in 6 (17%) of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is not insured.  As a result, health care choices may be limited.

More Information

American Diabetes Association
http://www.diabetes.org

American Heart Association
http://www.americanheart.org

National Kidney Disease Education Program
http://nkdep.nih.gov

Indian Health Service
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
http://www.ihs.gov/


 

 

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