Unfortunately, incidences of kidney disease are spreading across the United States. The good news is that we now have combative treatments for this condition but the fact is the burden is growing greater. This is shown by statistics which track the movement and trends of kidney disease across the country and break down this disease by gender, age and race.

The latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that “one in 10 American adults, more than 20 million, have some level of CKD” (Chronic Kidney Disease). Chronic Kidney Disease is defined as any condition that causes the kidneys function to diminish over a period of time. CKD is most commonly seen in people who are 65 and older. However, it can hit at most any age although it is seen in people 20 and older less than .5% of the time. It is also worthy to note that the amount of people who are 60 and older have had a rapid rise in CKD incidences (there was an increase of a little of 6% over a span of just three years) while in the same time period those who were under 60 had numbers that stayed the same.

Kidney Disease

Even with dialysis treatment, cases of CKD have a high rate of turnover into ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease). End Stage Renal Disease is complete and permanent failure of a kidney or kidneys. The treatment for ESRD is pretty much the same as for CKD but typically requires more frequent dialysis treatments, at least until a donor kidney can be found for transplant. The numbers become even clearer when it comes to ESRD. For example, of all races, Native Americans have the least risk for any type of kidney function issues while African Americans have a higher risk of ESRD than Caucasians do. Each year the numbers for African Americans rise even when other races seem to stabilize. According to the CDC, as the year 2009 came to a close there were nearly 400,000 Americans being treated for ESRD. Of these patients, nearly 200,000 had received a kidney transplant but still needed some form of dialysis treatment for 100% functionality. Many of patients in these transplant cases were treated at home. The bottom line for patients with ESRD is that there are no guarantees of treatment staying effective. The mortality rates are not always encouraging.  Statistics show that in 1980 the mortality rate was above 10,000 but rose to a little more than 90,000 in 2009. Though these numbers seem high, there is good news; after 2009 the numbers began to fall and now seem to have leveled out due to better and quicker dialysis treatment. We now see that after a transplant survival rates have steadily improved to nearly 50%. Still, survival rates are lesser for African Americans.

The main cause for CKD and ESRD in the United States is hypertension and diabetes. TheCDC keeps close watch on where these cases take place so they can be aware of any specific trends in the disease. Currently their numbers show the years 1980 and 2001. The main take-away from these numbers is no state has a decrease in numbers. Below are the states that showed the highest numbers.

  • The District of Columbia 1,574 in 1980 and 3,709 in 2001

  • Alabama 897 in 1980 and 1,809 in 2001

  • Delaware 814 in 1980 and 1,649 in 2001

  • Mississippi 893 in 1980 and 1,930 in 2001

  • Louisiana 872 in 1980 and 1,943 in 2001

  • South Carolina 920 in 1980 and 1,870 in 2001

  • Georgia 844 in 1980 and 1,663 in 2001

The states with the lowest numbers include Alaska (267/811), Utah (470/868) and Wyoming (446/880). Just looking at the table it would appear that the highest areas of concentration of people with kidney problems are in the south. (Information from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5339a3.htm)

Even with this information, know that anyone could be at risk for kidney disease and be in need of dialysis treatment. Having regular medical checkups and visiting your medical professional when you feel something may be wrong can help lower the risk of damage levels.