Risk factors are things that give you a higher chance of having a condition, such as kidney disease. Having one of these risk factors does not mean that you will get kidney disease. But if you do, and you find and treat kidney disease early, you may be able to prevent it from getting worse.
Are you at risk?
Anyone can get kidney disease, but some people have a higher probability because they have one or more risk factors. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading risk factors for kidney disease in the U.S. If you have any of these risk factors, ask your doctor how often they should check how well your kidneys are working and look for signs of kidney disease.
Diabetes is the leading risk factor for kidney disease and the most common cause of kidney failure. High blood sugar from diabetes damages your kidneys and lowers their ability to filter waste and fluid from your blood. Over time, this causes kidney disease. If you have diabetes, healthy eating, being active and taking medicine can help slow or avoid damage to your kidneys.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for kidney disease and the second most common cause of kidney failure, after diabetes. When you have high blood pressure, the force of your blood flowing through the tiny blood vessels in your kidneys can cause damage. High blood pressure can also be a symptom of kidney disease. Keeping your blood pressure under control can help prevent kidney disease or keep it from getting worse.
Race, ethnicity and kidney disease
People who are African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native American or Asian American have a higher chance of having kidney disease and kidney failure. Doctors and researchers are not exactly sure why, but they think it may be because diabetes and high blood pressure are more common in these groups.