1 in 3 U.S. adults are at risk for getting kidney disease. To be at risk means it is more likely you will get kidney disease. Anyone can get kidney disease, but some things can make it more likely to happen to certain people. If you are at risk for kidney disease, ask your doctor how often you should be tested. 

Having one of these risk factors does not mean that you will get kidney disease. But if you find and treat kidney disease early, you may be able to prevent it from getting worse.

Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the biggest factors that increases your risk for kidney disease and its the number one cause of kidney failure. A healthy diet, being active and medicine can help manage diabetes and prevent health problems like kidney damage. Over 30 million people in the United States have diabetes. 

Learn more about how diabetes can affect your kidneys. 

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High blood pressure

High blood pressure is one of the biggest factors that increases your risk for kidney disease and it is the #2 cause of kidney failure. Keeping your blood pressure under control can help prevent kidney disease, or help keep it from getting worse. About 1 in 3 U.S. adults has high blood pressure.

Learn more about how high blood pressure can affect your kidneys.

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Family history

Knowing your family health history is an important step in knowing your risk for kidney disease. You are more likely to get kidney disease if someone else in your family has it. 

Learn more about genetics and kidney disease. 

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Age

Being over age 60 increases your risk for kidney disease. As you get older, your kidneys naturally do not work as well as when you were younger. People age 60 or older are also more likely to have diabetes and high blood pressure, the two leading causes of kidney failure. If you are over age 60, ask your doctor how often you should be tested for signs of kidney disease.

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Race/ethnicity

African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian Americans are more likely to have kidney disease. Doctors and researchers are not exactly sure why, but it may be because diabetes and high blood pressure are more common in these groups. 

Learn more about race and ethnicity's link to kidney disease.

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Other causes

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of kidney disease. But, other conditions can also lead to kidney disease and kidney failure, including:

  • Polycystic kidney disease: a genetic disease that causes many cysts to grow in the kidneys
  • Glomerulonephritis: a disease that causes irritation to the tiny blood vessels (glomeruli) in your kidneys
  • Acute kidney injury: kidney failure that happens very quickly, often because of injuries, major blood loss or reactions to medicines
  • Autoimmune diseases (such as lupus and IgA nephropathy): diseases that cause your immune system to attack your body
  • Kidney cancer: cancer that grows inside your kidneys

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