Each year brings more than 4,000 new cases of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD)—also known as kidney failure. Unfortunately, Black people are well represented in that number. Black Americans are three times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop ESKD.
Moreover, Black people tend to have higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure, the two leading causes of kidney disease. Other risk factors for kidney disease include heart disease and a family history of kidney failure. Kidney failure treated with dialysis or a kidney transplant is referred to as end-stage kidney disease.
The kidneys use a system of delicate blood vessels to filter urine—getting rid of waste material while keeping nutrients and other cells that you need. When, as a result of diabetes, the kidneys are working harder to eliminate ketones—a type of acid, and excess glucose, those tiny vessels can be damaged.
Often there are no symptoms of kidney damage until you have lost 50 percent of your kidney function. This means your kidneys may be getting weaker and weaker without you realizing it. Eventually, your kidneys cannot