Disease Management, Screening Can Reduce Kidney Failure Among Blacks, Letter to the Editor States
A March 30 article in the Chicago Tribune that reported high kidney failure rates among blacks in Chicago "vividly portray[ed] the devastating impact of kidney failure in this community," Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at NIH, writes in a Tribune letter to the editor.
According to Rodgers, kidney failure "disproportionately afflicts" blacks because of the group's "high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure, the leading risk factors for kidney disease in this population." Cardiovascular disease and a family history of kidney disease can also increase risk, he writes, adding that because early kidney disease has no symptoms, it is "so important for people with diabetes and high blood pressure to get blood and urine tests for kidney disease." Reducing calorie intake and increasing physical activity can "sharply lower" the chance of developing type 2 diabetes, he adds.
Rodgers continues, "Dialysis is not inevitable -- the earlier that kidney disease is found, the sooner medications and other steps can be taken to slow kidney damage and delay kidney failure" (Rodgers, Chicago Tribune, 4/9).