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  • More than 1 in 7, 15% of US adults or 37 million people are estimated to have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). As many as 9 in 10 adults with CKD do not know they have CKD. About 2 in 5 adults with severe CKD do not know they have CKD. (CDC, 2021) 
  • More than 661,000 Americans have kidney failure. Of these, 468,000 individuals are on dialysis, and roughly 193,000 live with a functioning kidney transplant. (NIDDK)
  • 14,000 Alabamians are currently on dialysis.
  • A kidney transplant is the highest need on the transplant waitlist. Over 1,000 Alabamians are on the waitlist and more than 90,000 nationwide.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of CKD. High blood glucose, also called blood sugar, from diabetes can damage the blood vessels in your kidneys. Almost 1 in 3 people with diabetes have CKD. (NIDDK)
  • High blood pressure is the second leading cause of CKD. Like high blood glucose, high blood pressure also can damage the blood vessels in your kidneys. 1 in 5 adults with high blood pressure has CKD. (NIDDK)

*NIDDK – National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is part of the United States National Institutes of Health



Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, about the size of your fist, located along your back, just below your ribs. They are sophisticated machines that you cannot live without. They process nearly 200 quarts of blood every day and sift out about two quarts of waste products and extra water, which become urine.


The following are warning signs of kidney disease:

  • High blood pressure
  • Fluid retention
  • Frequent urination
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache & Fatigue
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Dry & itchy skin

Early Detection

Regular health screenings are essential in early detecting and preventing kidney disease. Any primary care physician can administer urine and/or blood tests to test kidney function, and check for risk factors such as high blood pressure (also called hypertension), diabetes, cholesterol and obesity.


The primary treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is either dialysis or kidney transplant. Dialysis is a machine process that does the kidneys’ job of filtering waste products from the blood. The other option is a kidney transplant, where a human kidney is surgically implanted into the patient.


The best prevention of kidney disease is to eat well, exercise and get regular health screenings. If kidney disease is detected early, medical intervention can slow the progression of it to chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. Healthy kidneys are vital for life, so take good care of yourself and your kidneys by exercising, eating right and seeking proper healthcare!


Leading Causes of Kidney Disease

Risk Factors

Those at a higher risk of developing kidney disease are African-American males, the elderly and those with family history of kidney disease.

Are you at risk?

  1. Do you have a family history of kidney disease?
  2. Do you have diabetes?
  3. Do you have high blood pressure?
  4. Are you an African-American, particularly male, between the ages of 30-35?
  5. Do you have a personal history of obesity, cardiovascular disease, HIV, Hepatitis C, or malignancy?