What is chronic kidney disease? Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious and growing public health problem in the United States. CKD is a condition in which the kidneys become damaged, decreasing their ability to filter the blood and remove water and waste products. Wastes then build up in the blood, harming the body. When kidney function decreases to less than 15 percent, a patient has kidney failure.
Kidney failure that requires dialysis or kidney transplant is often referred to as end-stage renal disease (ESRD). More than 20 million Americans aged 20 and older may have CKD. Although CKD is common, many Americans with the key risk factors –diabetes and high blood pressure-do not know they are at risk.
In addition, the rising rates of diabetes and obesity will continue to fuel its growth, as both conditions increase the risk of developing CKD and speed its progression. Therapies exist that can significantly slow the progression of CKD to kidney failure; particularly blood pressure control and use of medications that protect kidney function-called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). However, many people who would benefit from treatment are not receiving it.
The number of African Americans being treated for kidney failure continues to grow. In addition to kidney failure, other serious complications- particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD)- are associated with CKD. Other complications include anemia, malnutrition, bone disease, and depression. The end-stage renal disease disproportionately impacts racial and ethnic minorities, particularly African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans. Non-Hispanics and African Americans experience early CKD at rates similar to non-Hispanic whites, but African Americans are 3.6 times more likely than Whites to develop kidney failure.
These findings suggest a need for more education in this population group. Health education concerning the dangers of chronic kidney disease is needed in African American communities to increase awareness and knowledge. Health teaching is important because individuals with kidney disease may not be knowledgeable about chronic kidney disease and its complications. The importance of regular exercise, stress reduction and decrease sodium intake should be stressed. In addition, African Americans should also be aware of community resources and accessibility to care. African Americans should also be encouraged to have their blood pressure monitored frequently by a health professional.
High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure. Moreover, high blood pressure is more frequently complicated by heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease; which can result in the ESRD failure in African American population. More education should be targeted to African American communities, as they do not see and receive treatment for kidney disease until there are considerable target organ damages.
The goal for education for kidney disease is to prevent morbidity and mortality attributed to chronic kidney disease. When not treated or controlled, chronic kidney disease can lead to kidney failure. Urban Kidney Alliance wants to work with communities towards a better education of CKD.
ABOUT URBAN KIDNEY ALLIANCE
Urban Kidney Alliance, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax-deductible under IRS IRC section 170. All donations and contributions help support our awareness and education programs for communities at-risk for chronic Kidney disease.
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