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

What African Americans with Diabetes or High Blood Pressure Need to Know

Get Checked for Kidney Disease

Why should I be checked for kidney disease?

Diabetes and high blood pressure can damage the kidneys and lead to kidney disease. You need to get checked for kidney disease if you have one of these conditions. Here are some other reasons to get checked:

You also should be checked for kidney disease if you have:

Graphic of a person with arrows pointing to the kidneys

You have two kidneys located near the middle of your back, just under your rib cage. Their main job is to filter wastes and extra water from the blood to make urine. Wastes can build up in the body when the kidneys are damaged.

How will I be checked for kidney disease?

Two tests are used to check for kidney disease.


At your next health care visit, make sure:

What steps can I take to keep my kidneys healthy?

  1. Get checked for kidney disease. The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the sooner it can be treated.
  2. Manage your diabetes and keep your blood pressure at or below the target set by your health care provider. For most people, the blood pressure target is less than 140/90 mm Hg.

Here's how:

Tell others about the Kidney Connection:

Help your family or faith community Make the Kidney Connection between diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease. You don’t have to be a health expert to talk to them about kidney health and the importance of getting checked. The National Kidney Disease Education Program’s easy-to-use tools—the Family Reunion Health Guide and Kidney Sundays Toolkit — tell you how.

For more information

National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP)

Toll free at 1-866-4 KIDNEY

National Diabetes Education Program

Toll free at 1-800-438-5383

National High Blood Pressure Education Program


National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse

Toll free at 1-800-891-5390

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse

Toll free at 1-800-860-8747

To order this brochure, call 1-866-4 KIDNEY (1-866-454-3639) or visit

African American Brochure

Also available in French.

Page last updated: September 17, 2014