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5 Facts About Kidney Problems in the United States
Article posted in: Dialysis, Kidney Health


This content is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

Part 1

Kidney problems have been getting a lot of attention in the United States recently. So, we’ve decided to cover the top 20 facts about kidney problems in the United States. Enjoy part 1 of 4.

Fact 1. Chronic kidney problems affect more women than men

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), chronic kidney problems affect 15% of women and 12% of men. (1) This likely due to pregnancy and women’s increased chances of urinary tract infections. Women have shorter urethras which allow bacteria to travel back into the bladder and multiple, causing bladder infections. Sometimes these infections extend to the kidneys and cause damage if not treated. (2)


Fact 2. A large number of people with kidney problems don’t know it

Symptoms of Kidney Problems

Symptoms don’t usually appear until kidney function is extremely low. Unfortunately, this means people tend to find out about their kidney problems when they’re close to or will require dialysis or transplantation. According to The National Kidney Foundation, the symptoms that may occur are…(3)

  • Being tired and having a hard time concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dry or itchy skins
  • May need to urinate more frequently
  • Blood in urine
  • Foamy Urine
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Ankles and feet are swollen
  • Low appetite
  • Muscle cramping

Fact 3. Kidney problems occur more frequently in African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians

More frequent in African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians

According to The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, Caucasians are least likely to have kidney problems. African Americans, which represent 14% of the US population but 35% of people with kidney failure in the US, are four times more likely to get kidney problems. Since the early 2000s, Hispanics with kidney problems have increased by 70% and are now 1.3 times more likely to have kidney problems than non-Hispanics. Furthermore, American Indians and Alaskan Indians are 1.2% more likely to have kidney problems than Caucasians. (4)

This is most likely due to comorbidities (other conditions) that these populations are exposed to or genetically dispositioned to. (4)

Fact 4. Medicare pays for all dialysis


In 1972, President Nixon signed a bill that directed Medicare to pay for dialysis treatments. Now, in 2020, dialysis treatments use 20% of the yearly budget. (5)

Fact 5. The top 3 states with the highest levels of dialysis are in the Southern Belt of the US (6)

Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee

Stay tuned! 5 more facts in our 20 facts about kidney problems in the United States series will continue next week.

Works Cited

  1. Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States, 2019. (2019, March 11). Retrieved from
  2. Kidney infection. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  3. 10 Signs You May Have Kidney Disease. (2019, July 19). Retrieved from
  4. Beckerman, J. (2019, September 6). High Blood Pressure in African-Americans: Genetics, Risks, Causes, and More. Retrieved from
  5. Cunningham, P. W. (2019, July 11). The Health 202: The government funds kidney dialysis for all who need it. But the program needs fixing. Retrieved from
  6. Kidney Disease-Is Your State Hard Hit? (2017, November 10). Retrieved from