U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Double Trouble: The Leading Risks of Kidney Disease

Educate your family on diabetes and high blood pressure to help protect their kidneys.

To have a conversation with your family about kidney disease, you have to start with diabetes and high blood pressure. Why? Because diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of kidney disease. And they are common conditions among African Americans.

Family members who already have diabetes or high blood pressure need to know how to manage these conditions.

Use theFamily Reunion Health Guide (PDF, 1.48 MB) to help you share tips like the ones below at your next family reunion or event.

What can my relatives do to manage diabetes and high blood pressure?

  • Make healthy food choices such as eating fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meats, chicken or turkey without the skin, dry peas or beans, whole grains, and low-fat or skim milk and cheese.
Get 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. Brisk walking is a great way to get started.
An image of a a happy lady  
  • Reduce sodium (salt) in their diet. Suggest that they cook with a mix of spices instead of salt.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation: no more than 1 drink per day if you are a woman and no more than 2 if you are a man. Drinking too much can damage the liver, heart, and brain and cause serious health problems.
  • Take steps to quit smoking. Smoking raises your blood pressure, which increases your risk for kidney disease.
  • Keep their blood sugar and blood pressure in the range recommended by their health care provider.

August 6, 2014​​

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