NIDDK Director's Update Spring 2020

Health Information Updates

National Kidney Month highlights link between blood pressure and kidney disease


Did you know that high blood pressure can damage your kidneys, and chronic kidney disease can also lead to high blood pressure? This National Kidney Month, NIDDK and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute are highlighting information on the link between high blood pressure and kidney disease and tips to manage blood pressure and protect your kidneys.

High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney disease in the United States. An estimated 1 in 5 adults with high blood pressure may have chronic kidney disease, yet research suggests that fewer than 1 in 10 people with kidney disease are aware that they have the disease. That’s because early chronic kidney disease often has no symptoms. Kidney disease increases risk for stroke, heart attack, and death. 

Simple tests can detect high blood pressure or kidney disease. Ask a health care professional about testing for either disease. People can protect their kidneys or prevent the progression of kidney disease by managing high blood pressure.

Our research continues to uncover the complexities of the link between high blood pressure and kidney disease,” said NIDDK director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, “And what we are finding supports the message that you can help protect your kidneys by managing high blood pressure with healthy lifestyle habits.”

Prevent or slow kidney disease progression by taking the following steps to lower your blood pressure:

  • Take medicines as prescribed. Blood pressure medicines often play a key role in lowering blood pressure.
  • Aim for a healthy weight. For people who overweight or have obesity, reducing weight may lower high blood pressure.
  • Select healthier food and beverage options. Follow a healthy eating plan that focuses on heart-healthy foods that are low in sodium such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking damages blood vessels, increases risk for high blood pressure, and worsens problems related to high blood pressure. For help quitting, call 1-800-QUITNOW or go to
  • Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep affects your blood pressure and metabolism. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Make physical activity part of your routine. Regular physical activity can lower blood pressure. Any amount of activity adds up.

For more information about high blood pressure, kidney disease, kidney failure, and more, visit

NIDDK blog shares latest diabetes information with health care professionals

Want to know the latest and best practices related to diabetes? NIDDK’s Diabetes Discoveries & Practice Blog for health care professionals, produced in collaboration with leading experts in the field, explores emerging trends in diabetes care, discussing behavior change, diabetes prevention, metformin, diabetic kidney disease, and more. Check out the three most popular posts of 2019, and don’t forget to subscribe to be the first to see new posts!

  1. Metformin and chronic kidney disease (CKD)
    Featuring Dr. C. Blake Cameron, nephrologist and assistant professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, this post focuses on the clinical outcomes of metformin use in people with CKD and explains what health care professionals need to know about changes to the Food and Drug Administration’s guidance on metformin.
  2. Remembering Quincy, a beloved koala with type 1 diabetes
    In 2019 the blog remembered Quincy, a koala with type 1 diabetes who became a mascot for many people living with diabetes thanks to a first-of-its kind collaboration between the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute and San Diego Zoo to treat his him using digital technology.
  3. Look at the feet
    Dr. David Alper, a trustee at the American Podiatric Medical Association and practicing podiatrist in Belmont, Massachusetts, shares why a podiatric foot examination is a vital part of an overall medical work-up for people with diabetes and gives tips on what health care professionals should look for when doing foot examinations.

NIDDK now on Instagram

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NIDDK recently expanded our social media presence to pilot @NIDDK on Instagram. Follow to add tips for healthy living and health information to your Instagram feed.

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