U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

15 Minutes Can Make a Difference

Put your family’s kidney health first this family reunion season.

Though marked with stories and laughter, family reunions are also a perfect time to talk about important matters that affect the health of your family members. What if a quick, 15-minute talk helps a family member get tested for kidney disease? Your family may not know that:

  • Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two main risk factors for kidney disease
  • African Americans have a higher rate of kidney failure than any other group of people
  • A family history of kidney failure and heart disease can put you and your family members at risk

Early kidney disease has no signs or symptoms and usually does not go away. Instead, it may get worse over time and can lead to kidney failure. If the kidneys fail, treatment with dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed.

Kidney disease tends to run in families, so it’s important to educate your family and encourage them to share their family health history. To help keep their kidneys safe, consider holding a 15-minute Make the Kidney Connection health discussion at your upcoming family reunion. You can give the talk during the opening reception or closing dinner—or you can even carve out some time during a cook out.

An image of a a happy family  

TheFamily Reunion Health Guide (PDF, 1.48 MB) provides easy, step-by-step talking points for holding this conversation and includes a quick overview of the most important information your family members should know about kidney disease, including:

  • How to know if they are at risk
  • How to get tested
  • What can be done if they have kidney disease

To extend the discussion beyond the family reunion event, remember to send your family off withtips to live healthier (PDF, 130 KB) until the next family gathering. Your family—and their kidneys—will thank you!

July 9, 2014

Contact Us

Health Information Center