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March is National Kidney Month

March is here, marking the onset of National Kidney Month—an annual commitment by the Northwest Kidney Council to amplify awareness about chronic kidney disease (CKD) and advocate for those facing end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who require dialysis or a kidney transplant.


As we delve into this month of heightened awareness, it's crucial to recognize the growing impact of kidney disease. Shockingly, 35.5 million Americans—14% of adults—are grappling with kidney disease, a silent and often undetected threat. The statistics reveal an unfortunate reality: over 807,000 Americans are living with kidney failure, with more than 562,000 on dialysis and over 245,000 living with a kidney transplant.


Kidney disease affects various demographics disproportionately, with people of color, individuals with diabetes or high blood pressure, and those over 65 facing elevated risks. For instance, Black Americans are 4.2 times more likely to develop kidney failure compared to their white counterparts, and Hispanics face a 2.3 times higher risk.


  • In 2020, about 130,000 Americans were newly diagnosed with kidney failure.

  • Approximately 9 out of 10 people with kidney disease are unaware they have it, and half of those with severely reduced kidney function are undiagnosed.

  • For every two women developing kidney failure, three men face the same fate, even though kidney disease is historically more common in women.


Despite these challenges, there is hope. Kidney disease can often be prevented, and early detection can significantly impact outcomes. Simple blood and urine tests can reveal how well your kidneys are functioning. While kidney disease is not reversible, when detected and treated early, it's often possible to slow or stop its progression, averting serious complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and death.


As we navigate through National Kidney Month 2024, let's collectively take action. Encourage your loved ones to get tested for kidney disease, adopt kidney-friendly lifestyle changes, and spread awareness in your community. Small steps can make a big difference in protecting these vital organs.


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