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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Improving the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease.

At Risk for Kidney Disease?

You are at risk for kidney disease if you have:

If you have any of these risk factors, get tested for kidney disease. Early kidney disease has no signs or symptoms.

Kidney disease can affect people of all ages and races. African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians tend to have a greater risk for kidney failure. This is mostly due to higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure in these communities. There may be other reasons, too.

Get checked for kidney disease and learn about what you can do to keep your kidneys healthy. You can help delay or even prevent kidney failure by treating kidney disease early.

Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure. In fact, 44 percent of people starting dialysis have kidney failure caused by diabetes.

Diabetes can damage your kidneys. This damage can happen over many years, without you feeling it. That is why it is so important for people with diabetes to manage their diabetes and get tested for kidney disease. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can cause kidney disease.

See tips on how to keep your kidneys healthier longer.

More on Diabetes
For more information on managing diabetes, visit the National Diabetes Education Program

High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease

High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure. High blood pressure can damage your kidneys. This damage can happen over many years, without you feeling it. That is why it is so important for people with high blood pressure to control their blood pressure and get tested for kidney disease.

For most people, a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered high. Talk to your health care provider about the right blood pressure for you. See tips on how to keep your kidneys healthier longer.

More on High Blood Pressure
For more information on controlling high blood pressure, visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's "Your Guide to Lowering High Blood Pressure" website.

Heart Disease and Kidney Disease

There is a connection between kidney disease and cardiovascular (heart or blood vessel) disease. People with heart disease are at higher risk for kidney disease and people with kidney disease are at higher risk for heart disease.

Researchers are working to better understand the relationship between kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.

See tips on how to keep your kidneys healthier longer.

More on Heart Disease
Watch a provider explain the connection between heart disease and kidney disease.

Youtube video

For more information on heart disease, visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website.

Family History and Kidney Disease

Family history of kidney failure is a risk factor for kidney disease. Kidney disease tends to run in families. If your mother, father, sister, or brother has kidney failure, you may be at risk. Talk to your health care provider about getting tested for kidney disease.

If you have kidney disease, tell your family members to talk to their provider about their risk and getting tested for kidney disease.

Read about how to talk with your family about their risk for kidney disease.

  • An image of a mult-generational African-American family

    Interested in educating family and friends about kidney health during your next reunion or church event? Visit our Make the Kidney Connection page for help.

Page last updated: March 5, 2014