If you are African-American, Hispanic American, Native American or Asian-American, you are at increased 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 prevent it from getting worse!

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 notice any symptoms until their kidneys are badly damaged. Ask your doctor if you can have blood and urine tests to look for signs of kidney disease.
  2. Eat right. Eat foods low in salt, 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.

African-Americans and kidney disease

African Americans are more at risk for kidney failure than any other race. More than 1 in 3 kidney failure patients living in the United States is African-American.

Diabetes is the #1 cause of kidney failure. It causes nearly 40 percent of all cases of kidney failure in the United States.

African-Americans get diabetes more often. They are almost twice as likely as whites to have diabetes. About 1 in 9 (11.4 percent) 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 percent) 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 percent) of African-American adults have high blood pressure.

High blood pressure affects African Americans differently. African-Americans are six times more 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.

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Hispanics and kidney disease

Diabetes is the #1 cause of kidney failure. It causes nearly 40 percent of all cases of kidney failure in the United States.

Hispanics get diabetes more often. They are almost twice as likely as whites to have been diagnosed with diabetes by a physician. About 1 in 10 (9.2 percent) 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 of kidney failure in the United States.

Hispanics get high blood pressure more often. Almost 1 in 4 (22.5 percent) Hispanic adults has high blood pressure.

Most Hispanics do not know that high blood pressure can hurt their kidneys. Research has shown that less than half (46 percent) of Hispanics knows 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, their health care choices may be limited.

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Native Americans and kidney disease

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.

Diabetes is the #1 cause of kidney failure. It causes nearly 40 percent all cases in the United States. Native Americans get diabetes more often. They are more than twice as likely as whites to have diabetes. About 1 in 8 (13.2 percent) 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 of kidney failure in the United States.

Native Americans get high blood pressure more often. Almost 1 in 3 (almost 30 percent) 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, their health care choices may be limited.

For more information, visit the Indian Health Service of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders and kidney disease

Diabetes is the #1 cause of kidney failure. It causes nearly 40 percent 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, Asian-Americans, 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 percent) in the United States. Almost 1 in 5 (over 19 percent) 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 percent) of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is not insured. As a result, their health care choices may be limited.

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