A bipartisan solution to address chronic kidney disease in America
June 18, 2021
Our country has faced significant public health challenges over the past year and a half. While in the U.S. the COVID-19 pandemic is beginning to come under control, another under-recognized epidemic has continued unabated.
According to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 37 million Americans — or about 15 percent of the U.S. population — are currently living with chronic kidney disease (CKD). If untreated, CKD can ultimately progress to kidney failure or End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), which requires dialysis care several hours a day, at least three times per week, until a transplant becomes available. It’s no surprise then that kidney failure claims more lives each year than breast cancer or prostate cancer.
Kidney failure is indiscriminate in the toll it takes on patient lives and bodies. However, it is well established that kidney disease does not affect all Americans equally: Black Americans are almost four times as likely as whites to develop kidney failure. Further, Hispanics are nearly 1.3 times more likely to be diagnosed with kidney failure.