Know the facts. According to data from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention, compared to other ethnic groups, Black Americans are at increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease (CKD), and kidney failure.
The Facts about Diabetes and High Blood Pressure in Black Americans
Kidney disease, diabetes and high blood pressure are linked. Black adults have higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure than White adults. Uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure are real risk factors for CKD. People who have uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure are more likely to develop CKD than people without these conditions. Each condition can lead to or worsen the other.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the percentage of US adults, aged 18 years or older with CKD and diagnosed diabetes who were prescribed blood pressure medications. The prescription of blood pressure medications is higher in Black adults with CKD and diagnosed diabetes (63%) than in White adults (37%) or Asian adults (32%). (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States, 2021. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2021).
In addition, the United States Renal Data Service reports of the reported cases of end-state renal disease in the US, approximately 39% have diabetes and 26% have high blood pressure.
Evidence confirms the link between diabetes, high blood pressure, CKD and end-stage renal disease.
The Facts about Chronic Kidney Disease in Black Americans
Rates of kidney disease in the Black population are higher than rates for other groups, and this trend is continuing.
In people who receive Medicare fee-for-service benefits, kidney disease is highest among Black Americans (33%). American Indians or Alaska Natives (28%) had the next highest rate of kidney disease, followed by Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders (26%).
The Facts about Kidney Failure in Black Americans
If undiagnosed or untreated, kidney disease can get worse and lead to kidney failure (also called end-stage kidney disease). Black Americans make up 13% of the US population but account for 35% of the population with kidney failure.
Black Americans are about 4 times more likely than White Americans to develop kidney failure. The United States Renal Data Service reports kidney failure prevalence of 5,855 cases per million for Black Americans compared to 1,704 cases per million for White Americans.
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The barriers: CKD and racial disparities in healthcare
The higher number of Black Americans with kidney failure compared to the lower number of White Americans with kidney failure is a gap or health disparity.