U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Get Checked for the Silent Disease

Encourage family members with diabetes and high blood pressure to get checked for kidney disease.

There are certain times of the year we come together as a family including holidays, pdf reunions, (PDF, 1.48 MB) and other special events. We use this time to catch up with one another and to show our concern about each other’s health and well-being.

Since conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure tend to run in families and are the leading risk factors for kidney disease, we should learn more about these conditions and encourage family members to get checked for kidney disease.

Why should my family members get checked? There are many reasons:
  • Diabetes and high blood pressure can damage the kidneys and lead to kidney disease. If a family member has diabetes or high blood pressure, they should get checked.
  • Early kidney disease has no signs or symptoms (this is why it is called the ‘silent disease’). The only way a family member can know if they have kidney disease is to get checked.
  • Kidney disease does not go away. It may get worse over time and can lead to kidney failure. Your family member will need to go on dialysis or have a kidney transplant if their kidneys fail.
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  • Kidney disease can be treated. The sooner your relative knows they have kidney disease, the sooner they can get treatment to help delay or prevent kidney failure.

You don’t have to be a health expert to talk to your family about kidney health and the importance of getting checked! Use the pdf Family Reunion Health Guide (PDF, 1.48 MB) to help share this information with your loved ones at your next reunion or family gathering and encourage them to get tested for kidney disease.

August 6, 2014

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