Kidney disease — one of the top 10 causes of death in the United States — is the fastest-growing noncommunicable disease in the country. There are 37 million Americans living with it and millions more who are at risk. Of the Americans with kidney disease, 785,000 are living with kidney failure (end-stage renal disease, or ESRD), a life-altering condition that comes with enormous physical and emotional burdens.
The consequences of kidney disease and kidney failure fall more heavily on historically underserved communities of color and rural communities:
Black Americans make up just 13% of the U.S. population, but they account for 35% of Americans with kidney failure1 Black Americans are nearly 4 times more likely than white Americans to develop kidney failure2 22% of dialysis patients live in rural areas, compared to 19% of the general population3 Those with lower socioeconomic status, inadequate insurance or living in rural areas face barriers to kidney transplantation4. Black and Hispanic Americans are also significantly less likely than non-Hispanic white people to receive a kidney transplant.
On June 16, 2021, Delaware Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester and Ohio Congressman Brad Wenstrup introduced H.R. 3893, the Coordination, Accountability, Research, and Equity (CARE) for All Kidneys Act of 2021. The American Kidney Fund worked closely with the bill sponsors on this important bill which would implement interventions to better understand and manage kidney disease in communities of color, rural communities, and other underserved communities nationwide.
This goal would be accomplished by:
Creating a national action plan to address kidney disease in underserved communities Improving research, data collection, and kidney transplant rates in underserved communities Developing interventions and an understanding of the environment and occupational causes of kidney disease Conducting a study on the treatment patterns associated with providing care and treatment for kidney failure in all underserved populations
This bill is a crucial first step in addressing our nation's growing need to prevent and address kidney disease. Please contact your U.S. Representative today and ask them to cosponsor this important piece of legislation.