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Kidney Disease Risk: Insights from Hispanic/Latino Influencers

March 28, 2024, 12:02pm EDT

Person speaking with a healthcare professional

Did you know that Hispanic/Latino communities bear a disproportionate burden of kidney disease? 

Why is that, and what can you do to protect your kidney health? Carolina Mestrovic, María Marín, and Carolina Sandoval, three popular Hispanic/Latino influencers, are here to break it down. 

What to know

According to the CDC, Hispanic/Latino persons have twice the incidence rate of kidney failure than non-Hispanic White persons.1

There is no one reason for this. It's a mix of environmental, medical, and social factors known as social determinants of health. These factors and more can make maintaining good health a challenge.

For example:

  • Without good preventative healthcare, someone may get a kidney failure diagnosis, not even knowing they were sick. 
  • Not having access to affordable healthy food may force some to rely on highly processed foods. These are often full of additives and have little nutritional value. This may increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity—all risk factors for kidney disease.
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals in the air or water may result in health issues. 

Rates of kidney transplants are also lower in the Hispanic/Latino community.2

The good news? The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is working to ensure everyone has equal access to the transplant waitlist and the education needed to prevent or slow the progression of kidney disease.

Here’s how NKF is fighting for KIDNEY EQUITY FOR ALL™:

  • Helping more than 700,000 people, including 400,000 Black/African Americans and Hispanic/Latinos, discover their kidney disease risk with our Minute for Your Kidneys Quiz.
  • Working to remove race from the Kidney Donor Risk Index (KDRI).
  • Increasing screening for those at the highest risk of developing kidney disease.

Read "On the Path to KIDNEY EQUITY FOR ALL™" to learn more.

Carolina Mestrovic



Carolina Mestrovic, a Chilean singer and actress, became famous in 2008 after winning a singing competition. She's known for portraying Sofía Matic on Graduados, a show where friends reflect on their past. Today, she plays Vero on Club 57, a children's musical TV show popular in Mexico and Argentina. 

Caroline is now using her platform to shine the spotlight on something different–NKF's Minute for Your Kidney Quiz. In one minute, you can learn if you are at risk of kidney disease and what to do for a healthier future. It may just save your life!

María Marín 

Named one of the most powerful Latina women three times by People en Español, María Marín is a motivational speaker who understands adversity. 

Maria lost her mother at nine years old and developed diabetes shortly after, increasing her risk for kidney disease. Later, Maria battled breast cancer and won.

Knowledge is power! Since María knows her kidney disease risk, she can better protect her kidney function. She's working with NKF to ensure more people have access to the same life-saving information she has. 

Top kidney disease risk factors include:

  • Diabetes: May harm the small blood vessels in the kidneys, leading to kidney damage and decreased kidney function.
  • High blood pressure: Forces the heart to work harder, which can damage the heart and kidneys.
  • Family history of kidney failure: Certain types of kidney disease can be passed down. However, in many cases, this results from social determinants of health and not genetics. 

Learn what to do if you are at risk of kidney disease.

Carolina Sandoval 



Carolina Sandoval Guzman is a beloved TV presenter, journalist, and actress. She began her career in Venezuela, writing for magazines and appearing in the soap opera Amor Mio. After moving to Miami in 2001, she worked on shows like El Gordo y la Flaca and Escándalo TV.

In 2013, Carolina became a panelist on Telemundo's Suelta la Sopa, exposing the secrets of soap opera stars. Now, she's revealing the truth about kidney disease—one in three American adults is at risk of developing it, and most don't know it.

Early and frequent testing is the best way to catch or maintain kidney disease. Ask your healthcare provider about these two simple tests to determine if you have kidney issues:

  1. The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR): Estimates how well your kidneys remove waste products from the blood.
  2. Urine albumin-creatinine ratio (uACR): Measures the amount of albumin, a protein, and creatinine in urine. Healthy kidneys keep albumin in the blood while filtering creatinine into the urine.

Learn more about kidney tests.

Share your story

Do you have kidney disease or a kidney transplant? Are you a living kidney donor? We'd love to hear from you! Share your story here. It may be the one that gives someone else hope.

1“Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States, 2023.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2023, https://www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/publications-resources/CKD-national-facts.html. 

2Gordon, Elisa J. PhD, MPH1; Lee, Jungwha PhD, MPH2; Kang, Raymond MA3; Uriarte, Jefferson BS2; Caicedo, Juan Carlos MD4. Disparities Persist Among Hispanic Patients: Completing Evaluation, Waitlisting, and Receiving a Kidney Transplant. Transplantation Direct 10(3):p e1595, March 2024. | DOI: 10.1097/TXD.0000000000001595

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