Factors That Increase Your Risk of Kidney Disease

Having Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2)

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, with nearly half (47%) of all cases. Around 1 in 3 adults with diabetes have some form of kidney disease. High blood sugar from diabetes damages the kidneys over time, reducing their ability to filter blood effectively.

Having High Blood Pressure

The second leading cause of kidney failure in the United States is high blood pressure. The increased pressure of the blood flow to the kidneys can cause damage to their delicate filtering system. This issue is compounded because the kidneys play a role in regulating blood pressure, but as they become more damaged over time, they are less able to perform this role. Over time, this causes kidney failure.

Being Black, Native American, Hispanic, or Asian American

Compared to white Americans:

• Black Americans are 3.4 times more likely to develop kidney failure.
• Native Americans are 1.9 times more likely
• Hispanic Americans are 1.5 times more likely
• Asian Americans are 1.3 times more likely

Being a Smoker

Cigarette smoking reduces blood flow to the kidneys, causing damage over time. Nicotine has been found to damage kidney cells and increase the risk of developing diabetic kidney disease. Smoking can also affect medications that treat high blood pressure, which is the second leading cause of kidney disease in the United States.