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 half of all cases of kidney failure in the United States.

African Americans get diabetes more often than whites. About 1 in 9 (11.7 percent) African American adults has diabetes compared to about 1 in 13 (7.5 percent) white adults. 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 6 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.