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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! 

Why are Hispanics more at risk?
How can I prevent kidney disease?
What is the American Kidney Fund doing to help?
More Information

Why are Hispanics more at risk? 

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.

1.  Diabetes is the #1 cause of kidney failure.  It causes almost half (44%) 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.

2.  High Blood Pressure is the #2 cause of kidney failure.  It causes about 1 out of 4 cases (28%) 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.

3.  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.

How can I prevent kidney disease?

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 tell you your GFR, the best 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 3 out of 4 cases of kidney failure.  If you have either, talk to your doctor about how to keep them in control.  Click here to order or download our brochures, "Diabetes and Your Kidneys" and "High Blood Pressure and Your Kidneys."


What is the American Kidney Fund doing to help?

Our Screenings & Education program provides, education, health screenings, and follow-up to high-risk minority communities in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago and other cities nationwide.  To find a free health screening in your area, click here.

More Information

American Diabetes Association 

American Heart Association

National Kidney Disease Education Program 

Updated 9/13/2013


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