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June, 2007


Highlights in Minority Health
March 2004

National Kidney Disease Education ProgramNational Kidney Disease Education Program
 

March is National Kidney Month

 
Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Chronic Kidney Disease and Kidney Failure
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) reduces the body’s ability to filter blood, remove waste and extra water, and keep beneficial electrolytes in balance. Left untreated, CKD can lead to kidney failure requiring kidney replacement treatment (dialysis or transplantation) to maintain life. In 2001, approximately 10.9 million U.S. residents had CKD, 406,081 were receiving kidney replacement therapy for kidney failure, 96,295 new cases of  kidney failure were diagnosed, and 99,000 deaths from kidney failure were recorded. Annual death rates from cardiovascular diseases are increased 10 – 100 times among persons with kidney failure.
CKD, kidney failure, and related disability, premature death, and economic costs are growing public health problems that disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States. African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics , and Asians are respectively 4.5, 3.6, 2, and 1.6 times more likely to develop kidney failure than are whites.  The ongoing epidemics of CKD and kidney failure are due mainly to increased prevalence of type 2 diabetes, poor control of diabetes and hypertension, and delayed detection and treatment of the early stages of CKD. In addition, racial and ethnic disparities in CKD, kidney failure, and kidney replacement therapy (dialysis and transplantation) are caused by a combination of biological, clinical, economic, social, and cultural forces which lead to disproportionate burdens of suffering among racial and ethnic minorities.
Effective clinical methods of early diagnosis and treatment for CKD are available, not used often enough, and not equally accessible to all patients who need them. Experts recommend tight control of blood sugar in people with diabetes, lowering of blood pressure below targets set for persons with hypertension who do not have kidney disease, screening for early signs of CKD, and low protein diets to prevent progression of CKD to kidney failure.
Organized public health programs are also in place to support actions taken by clinicians and individuals. Since 2000, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Council of American Kidney Societies (CAKS), and other public and private groups have conducted the National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP) to increase awareness, motivate action among health care providers, policymakers, and populations at high risk for CKD.  To reduce extreme racial disparities in CKD, kidney failure, and renal replacement therapy, the NKDEP has targeted African Americans with hypertension, diabetes, and a family history of kidney failure. The NKDEP is conducting pilot projects to develop educational materials and methods in selected cities (Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Jackson, MS; and Cleveland, OH).

 

For Related Information go to:
 
National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP)
  Kidney & Urologic Diseases Statistics for the U.S. from NIDDK's National Kidney & Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC)
  CKD in the U.S. Slide Presentation (2003) from NKDEP
  NKDEP’s “Learn the risks” brochure for African Americans
  National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) - National Minority Organizations


 

 

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