U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

At Risk for Kidney Disease?

You are at risk for kidney disease if you have:

If you have any of these risk factors, get tested for kidney disease. Early kidney disease has no signs or symptoms.

Kidney disease can affect people of all ages and races. African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians tend to have a greater risk for kidney failure. This is mostly due to higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure in these communities. There may be other reasons, too.

Get checked for kidney disease and learn about what you can do to keep your kidneys healthy. You can help delay or even prevent kidney failure by treating kidney disease early.

Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure. In fact, 44 percent of people starting dialysis have kidney failure caused by diabetes.

Diabetes can damage your kidneys. This damage can happen over many years, without you feeling it. That is why it is so important for people with diabetes to manage their diabetes and get tested for kidney disease. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can cause kidney disease.

See tips on how to keep your kidneys healthy.

More on Diabetes
For more information on managing diabetes, visit the National Diabetes Education Program

High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease

High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure. High blood pressure can damage your kidneys. This damage can happen over many years, without you feeling it. That is why it is so important for people with high blood pressure to control their blood pressure and get tested for kidney disease.

For most people, a blood pressure of 140/90 or above is considered high. Talk to your health care provider about the right blood pressure for you. See tips on how to keep your kidneys healthy.

More on High Blood Pressure
For more information on controlling high blood pressure, visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's "Your Guide to Lowering High Blood Pressure" website.

Heart Disease and Kidney Disease

There is a connection between kidney disease and cardiovascular (heart or blood vessel) disease. People with heart disease are at higher risk for kidney disease and people with kidney disease are at higher risk for heart disease.

Researchers​ are working to better understand the relationship between kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.

See tips on how to keep your kidneys healthy.

More on Heart Disease
Watch a provider explain the connection between heart disease and kidney disease.

Videos

Videos

Is there a connection between heart disease and kidney disease?
Is there a connection between heart disease and kidney disease? (0:30)

"A doctor explains the relationship between heart disease and chronic kidney disease (CKD), emphasizing the importance of blood pressure control to reduce the risk of both these diseases."

For more information on heart disease, visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website.

Family History and Kidney Disease

Family history of kidney failure is a risk factor for kidney disease. Kidney disease tends to run in families. If your mother, father, sister, or brother has kidney failure, you may be at risk. Talk to your health care provider about getting tested for kidney disease.

If you have kidney disease, tell your family members to talk to their provider about their risk and getting tested for kidney disease.

Read about how to talk with your family about their risk for kidney disease.


This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.

This information is not copyrighted. The NIDDK encourages people to share this content freely.


March 5, 2014​

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