About Kidney Disease and Kidney Failure
Today, there are over 31 million American adults who are living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), which untreated, can ultimately progress to kidney failure. More than half of those with kidney disease are not aware they have it and often suffer no apparent symptoms. Millions more individuals are at risk of developing this deadly disease and are not aware of their risks.
Each year in the United States, more than 100,000 Americans are diagnosed with kidney failure (or End Stage Renal Disease) – an irreversible condition which is fatal without a kidney transplant or lifesaving dialysis treatments. Currently, more than 485,000 Americans suffer from ESRD and 341,000 are on dialysis, a number that is expected to double over the next decade.
The dramatic rise in kidney failure is attributable to the increase of diabetes and hypertension, two skyrocketing chronic diseases and the leading risk factors for ESRD.
Because transplantation options are extremely limited, most patients who suffer from ESRD depend on lifesaving dialysis treatments to survive. Ensuring quality dialysis care remains available is essential to the nation’s patient population, as is providing prevention and education resources so that patients can become empowered to avoid ESRD altogether.
- The most at-risk groups for developing kidney failure include African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, seniors (those 65 and older), and anyone with a family history of CKD.
- African Americans make up 13 percent of the general population but account for 30 percent of people with kidney failure.
- Seven percent of Americans have diabetes and 29 percent of Americans have high blood pressure – the two leading causes of kidney failure.
- More than 84,000 U.S. patients are currently waiting for a kidney transplant.
About Treating Kidney Failure and Medicare
The kidney community urges all individuals to learn more about the risk factors and preventative measures associated with kidney disease. CKD includes all conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability to excrete waste, maintain fluid and chemical balances in the body and perform the many other important functions they carry out that keep you healthy. CKD can be caused by many factors including diabetes and high blood pressure. Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from progressing into to kidney failure, which requires a person to undergo dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive.
The kidney community urges anyone over 18 years old who suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure or has a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease to be screened for kidney disease. Seven percent of the United States population has diabetes and more than one out of four Americans has high blood pressure, the two leading causes of kidney disease.
For more information on risk factors and prevention tips, go to http://www.kidney.org/kidneydisease/index.cfm
The renal community is dedicated to providing education and prevention resources to at-risk patients to help slow the rise of kidney failure. For those who will progress to requiring dialysis treatments, providers are committed to ensuring the availability of quality care.
In 2008, with the strong support of the kidney care community, Congress enacted the “Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act” (MIPPA). This law includes provisions critical to improving care for patients with kidney disease and kidney failure, including public and patient education initiatives to increase awareness about CKD and other important improvements to the Medicare ESRD program.