Health Disparities

Kidney disease disproportionately affects communities of color. Black or African Americans are almost four times more likely and Hispanics or Latinos are 1.3 times more likely to have kidney failure compared to White Americans. Although they make up only 13.5% of the population, Black or African Americans make up more than 35% of dialysis patients. The major causes of kidney disease, including diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, are all more prevalent among Black Americans. Although a kidney transplant is the optimal treatment for kidney failure, Black patients face barriers to access at every step of the process and on average wait a year longer than white patients to receive a kidney transplant. Black patients are less likely to receive a transplant evaluation, have less access to the waitlist, spend longer on the transplant waitlist, are less likely to survive on the waitlist, and have lower rates of graft survival post-transplant.

To address these racial disparities in the awareness, diagnosis, and treatment of kidney disease, the National Kidney Foundation is focusing on the following areas:

  1. Eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in access to transplantation
  2. Improving CKD diagnosis and treatment to delay kidney failure
  3. Increasing access to home dialysis for diverse populations
  4. Reducing out-of-pocket costs for kidney patients

Learn more about NKF’s Health Equity.