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Diabetes, High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease

If you or someone in your family has diabetes, high blood pressure or a history of kidney disease, you could be at risk for developing kidney disease.

The silent partnership

Diabetes and high blood pressure are sometimes called “silent killers,” because many people don’t know they have these diseases; therefore they are not getting treatment. Uncontrolled diabetes and/or uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Below are facts to note:

  • 6 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes, the number one cause of kidney disease

  • 1 in 4 Americans has high blood pressure, the second leading cause of kidney disease

  • Anyone with diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of these conditions is at risk for kidney disease

  • 20 million Americans, 1 in 10 adults, have kidney disease

  • 20 million more Americans are at risk for kidney disease but don’t know it

  • African Americans, Latinos, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans and seniors (those 65 and over) are at increased risk of developing kidney disease

Preventing and delaying chronic kidney disease

Together, diabetes and high blood pressure account for two/thirds of all cases of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

CKD develops when the kidneys lose most of their ability to remove waste and maintain fluid and chemical balances in the body. CKD can progress quickly or take many years to develop.

Anyone with diabetes and/or high blood pressure can take steps to try and prevent kidney disease, and those who already have CKD can try and slow down the process. Early detection, keeping blood sugar levels and blood pressure under control, living a healthy lifestyle and education may help prevent or delay kidney disease from progressing to kidney failure.