Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a devastating disease process that afflicts African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanic Americans disproportionally. It can lead to chronic kidney failure (CKF) and make you dependent on kidney dialysis.
The leading causes of chronic kidney disease are high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
Compared with white Americans:
- African Americans are nearly 4 times as likely to develop chronic kidney failure
- American Indians have a 3-fold increase in chronic kidney failure
- Hispanic Americans have double the risk of chronic kidney failure
Years ago, many devoted African-American urologists went to churches on Sunday to educate African-Americans about their increased risk for prostate cancer, and elevated risk for more aggressive prostate cancer at earlier ages than white Americans. Bringing health messages to areas of worship or barber shops, or anywhere you can find high-risk groups available for listening is worthwhile. Thanksgiving weekend is a time when people are often ready to listen.
The National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive Disorders, and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), an institute of the National Institutes of Health has launched an initiative called "Kidney Sundays." You can download materials for free from their website on the program and use them to discuss risk factors for chronic diseases, and ways to help lower your risk. Admittedly, it is not the most joyful discussion to share over a Thanksgiving meal, but you might want to bring it up later over the weekend when all of you are together.
Chronic kidney disease. Downloaded Nov. 24, 2009 from familydoctor.org.
Chronic kidney disease: a family affair. Downloaded Nov. 24, 2009 from the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Clearinghouse.