Race, Ethnicity, & Kidney Disease
33% of American adults are at risk for kidney disease.
Yes, one in three people.
If you are Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian American, Pacific Islander, American Indian, or Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, heritage you may be at an increased risk for kidney disease.
Black or African Americans are more than 3 times as likely and Hispanics or Latinos are 1.3 times more likely to have kidney failure compared to White Americans.
Minority populations have much higher rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and heart disease, all of which increase the risk for kidney disease. Access to healthcare may also play a role.
The key is to find kidney disease as early as possible and understand its risk factors before the trouble starts. Regular testing for everyone is important and is especially important for people at risk.
What is kidney disease?
Can anyone get kidney disease?
- Diabetes (you or your family)
- High blood pressure (you or your family)
- Heart disease (you or your family)
- Family history of kidney failure, diabetes, or high blood pressure
- Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian American, American Indian, or Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander heritage
- Age 60 or older
- Low birth weight
- Prolonged use of NSAIDs, a type of painkillers, such as ibuprofen and naproxen
- Lupus, other autoimmune disorders
- Chronic urinary tract infections
- Kidney stones
Why are minority populations at greater risk for kidney disease?
How does healthcare access play a role?
What can I do to prevent kidney disease?
- A simple urine test checks to see if you have protein in your urine. Your body needs protein. But it should be in the blood, not the urine. Having a small amount of protein in your urine may mean that your kidneys are not filtering your blood well enough. This can be an early sign of kidney disease.
- A simple blood test for GFR, which stands for glomerular filtration rate. Your GFR number tells you how well your kidneys are working. The lab estimates your GFR using a simple blood test called creatinine (a waste product), along with your age, race, and gender.
Get tested for diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. If you don't know whether you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease, it's important for you to find out.
Live a healthy lifestyle. Be sure to exercise, eat a healthy diet, lose weight if needed, avoid smoking, and limit alcohol. A healthy lifestyle can keep you from getting kidney disease, and it can also help slow or stop kidney disease from getting worse. Read our 6-Step guide to protecting your kidney health.
If you would like more information, please contact us.
© 2020 National Kidney Foundation. All rights reserved. This material does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment recommendations.