We don't just believe in kidney health for all. We work for it.

Everyone deserves to be as healthy as they can, no matter where they live, what language they speak or the color of their skin. But in kidney disease, race and ethnicity play a significant role. At the American Kidney Fund, we are working to change that — we believe in health equity.

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Talk to Your Doctor. Get Your Kidneys Checked.

People of all races and backgrounds get kidney disease, but Black and Hispanic people are more likely to have diabetes and high blood pressure, the top two causes of kidney disease — and more likely to develop kidney failure. But kidney failure is often preventable. Talk to your doctor. Get your kidneys checked. 

Our solutions

There are treatments for kidney disease. Silence isn't one of them.

For decades, the American Kidney Fund has advanced kidney disease prevention, management, treatment and transplant, clinical research and advocacy. Building on these efforts, we are focused on the solutions that can tackle kidney disease disparities head-on:

Doctor and patient discuss a medical issue
Doctor offering support to patient

Our commitment to you and your community 

We're fighting for health equity in kidney disease 

We live in a nation where Black and Hispanic people fare worse with kidney disease than White people who have it. Black and Hispanic people are more likely to develop kidney failure and are less likely to receive a kidney transplant. It doesn't have to be this way.  

Our programs put solutions into practice that help break down common barriers — so that all people can equally prevent and get treatment for kidney disease.    

Black senior man looking straight ahead

OPTN TAKES STEPS TO ADVANCE HEALTH EQUITY THROUGH POLICY CHANGE

The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network is revising the Kidney Donor Profile Index, removing race as a factor — a much needed step in improving health equity and increasing access to transplant.

Why we are impatient for change 

About 37 million Americans are living with kidney disease, but research shows that it impacts people of different backgrounds in different ways.

MORE SEVERE

Compared to white people, Black people are 4 times as likely to develop kidney failure and Hispanic people are twice as likely.

HIGHER RISK

Black and Hispanic people are more likely to have diabetes and high blood pressure, the two top causes of kidney disease. 

LESS ACCESS

Black and Hispanic Americans are less likely to be referred to a nephrologist (kidney doctor) until the later stages of kidney disease. 

LESS INCLUSION

Black and Hispanic people are less likely to participate in home dialysis, less likely to enroll in clinical trials and less likely to receive a kidney from a living donor. 

Kidney health inequities 

Lives are at stake  

Kidney disease is the fastest-growing non-contagious disease in the United States. Currently, about 37 million Americans have kidney disease and millions more are at risk. 

People of all races and backgrounds can have kidney disease, but people of color are more likely to have their kidneys fail (completely stop working). When your kidneys fail, you need dialysis or a transplant to survive. 

Some causes are genetic, but the United States Department of Health and Human Services studies have shown that social determinants of health, structural racism and implicit bias can result in Black and Hispanic people:

  • Not receiving proper care in earlier stages of kidney disease

  • Not being invited to consider home dialysis

  • Not qualifying to receive kidney transplants.  

Everyone deserves their best kidney health

This is our mission

In spite of the challenges, it only takes one person at a time — armed with the right tools and knowledge — to take lifesaving action. The American Kidney Fund provides the help and support that you need to join the fight for health equity.

LaVarne A. Burton - President & CEO

People are the central focus of our work. Listening to the needs and hopes of kidney patients is at the center of all we do. That's why our foremost priority is ensuring kidney health for all people.

LaVarne A. Burton, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Kidney Fund 

WATCH: Kidney patients talk about health equity

Tunisia Bullock

The CARE Act is so important because it is going to ensure that there are studies that will take a look at why kidney disease is so prominent when it comes to rural communities and underserved, underrepresented racial backgrounds.

Tunisia Bullock, AKF Ambassador

We want to hear your health equity stories

View stories

American Kidney Fund Health Equity Coalition 

We are in your corner 

People and organizations across the health care community are working together to improve health equity. To advance these efforts, AKF has assembled a group of health professionals, patients and advocates to form the AKF Health Equity Coalition. This group works with us to develop evidence-based solutions to help achieve health equity in kidney disease. We are grateful to our AKF Health Equity Coalition members

Working together

HEALTH EQUITY CHAMPIONS

We are grateful to the corporations that are providing the funding support to make a difference in our health equity work. 

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