Chronic Kidney Disease Is Increasing in Mexican Americans

Gaps in chronic kidney disease persist across racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

Chronic kidney disease among Mexican Americans nearly doubled between 2003‒2004 and 2015‒2016 to rates like those in other racial/ethnic groups, according to a CDC studyexternal icon released on July 16, 2020, by JAMA Network Open. Researchers also reported chronic kidney disease was higher in groups with lower educational level and income. Furthermore, the gaps in chronic kidney disease across racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups have largely persisted for nearly 30 years.

Data for this report were analyzed from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a program of studies that combine interviews and physical exams to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. From 1988‒1994 to 2015‒2016, nearly 55,000 NHANES participants aged 20 years or older were examined.

Overall, the adjusted percentage with chronic kidney disease in stages 3 and 4 (that is, moderately to severely reduced kidney function) increased from 3.9% in 1988‒1994 to 5.2% in 2003‒2004, and then leveled off to 5.1% in 2015‒2016. However, trend patterns were significantly different by race/ethnicity group. During the period, chronic kidney disease

  • Increased for non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Blacks and then leveled off.
  • Remained stable for Mexican Americans and then increased.
  • Remained higher in people with lower educational level and income.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the major causes of chronic kidney disease in adults. However, preventing chronic kidney disease and its complications is possible by managing blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Learn more about how to prevent or manage chronic kidney disease. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, ask a doctor about getting tested for kidney disease.

Page last reviewed: August 10, 2020