Kidney Disease—Is Your State Hard Hit?

New York, NY (March 14, 2013) – In the U.S., over half a million adults face kidney failure—and lifestyle and geography may have something to do with it.

Southern states make up the top 10 list of those hardest hit by kidney failure. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 8% of the population in each of these states also has diagnosed diabetes, the leading cause of kidney disease.

“These states have high rates of obesity and physical inactivity. Multiple chronic diseases are highly prevalent in this geographic area, also known as the ‘stroke belt.’ Yet healthy diet combined with physical activity to maintain a healthy body weight could change the levels of kidney failure,” said Joseph Vassalotti, MD, National Kidney Foundation Chief Medical Officer.

See where your state falls on the kidney health spectrum:

Kidney Failure by U.S. Regions



Dialysis patients per million population

1. Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee 1537
2. Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina 1497
3. Southern California 1408
4. Texas 1405
5. Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma 1371
6. Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia 1336
7. American Samoa, Northern California, Guam, Hawaii 1299
8. New York 1267
9. New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands 1258
10. Illinois 1251
11. Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio 1209
12. Delaware, Pennsylvania 1206
13. Florida 1174
14. Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin 1022
15. Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska 983
16. Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming 918
17. Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont 809
18. Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington 775

Protect Yourself

During National Kidney Month in March and in honor of World Kidney Day, on March 14, the NKF offers 5 simple prevention tips, regardless of where you reside:

  1. Sit less and stand more. Recent research has linked sitting for 8 hours or more a day with developing kidney disease.
  2. Exercise and lose weight. Diabetes is responsible for 44% of all new cases of kidney failure. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are on the rise and can often be treated and reversed with physical activity and weight loss.
  3. Manage high blood pressure. Both considered silent killers, many people don’t realize that high blood pressure and kidney disease are linked. Controlling blood pressure levels can prevent kidney damage and failure.
  4. Avoid long term use of kidney-toxic drugs such as over the counter (OTC) pain medications, NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen with brand names such as Motrin, Advil, and Nuprin.
  5. Get tested! Ask your healthcare provider for an annual urine test to check for protein in the urine, one of the earliest signs of kidney disease, and a blood test for creatinine to calculate your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). GFR tells how well your kidneys are working to remove wastes from your blood.