The higher estimate in the number of Americans affected by chronic kidney disease, versus statistics reported in previous years, is due to several factors including an aging population and increased prevalence of risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension, according to the CDC.
Approximately 90 percent of people who have CKD are not even aware of it. In fact, one of every two people with very low kidney function, and who are not on dialysis, don’t know they have CKD. The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) estimates that one of every three adults – some 80 million people – is at risk for CKD. It is the 9th leading cause of death in the U.S., killing more people than breast cancer or prostate cancer, according to the CDC.
“Chronic kidney disease is the most under-recognized public health crisis in this country, and now, with 37 million people suffering, it’s time for more Americans finally to take notice,” said Kevin Longino, CEO, National Kidney Foundation. “NKF will continue to lead the way in rallying action on this problem by increasing CKD awareness, prevention, early detection, advocacy for kidney patients, and support for research to improve treatment and outcomes.”
Chronic kidney disease means both kidneys are damaged and losing their ability to keep an individual healthy. Dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed to stay alive. Kidney failure treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant is called end-stage kidney disease (ESKD).
Other key CDC findings are that CKD is more common in American women (15 percent) than in men (12 percent). People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are about 3 times more likely than Whites to develop ESKD. Compared to non-Hispanics, Hispanics are almost 1.3 times more likely to receive a diagnosis of kidney failure. These minority populations have high rates of diabetes or high blood pressure, putting them at higher risk for ESKD. Risk factors for CKD include having diabetes, high blood pressure, family history of kidney failure, being age 60 or older, obesity, heart disease and past damage to kidneys.
The CDC study, which analyzed adults aged 18 years or older with CKD stages 1-4, used data from the 2013-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the CKD Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) equation.
Kidney Disease Facts
In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease (CKD) – and most aren’t aware of it. 1 in 3 American adults is at risk for CKD. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a family history of kidney failure, and being age 60 or older. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are about 3 times more likely than Whites to develop end-stage kidney disease (ESKD or kidney failure). Compared to non-Hispanics, Hispanics are almost 1.3 times more likely to receive a diagnosis of kidney failure.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit www.kidney.org.