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The Burden of Kidney Failure
Each year in the United States, more than 100,000 people are diagnosed with kidney failure, a serious condition in which the kidneys fail to rid the body of wastes. Kidney failure is the final stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure, accounting for nearly 44 percent of new cases. Even when diabetes is controlled, the disease can lead to chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. Most people with diabetes do not develop chronic kidney disease that is severe enough to progress to kidney failure. Nearly 24 million people in the United States have diabetes, and nearly 200,000 people are living with kidney failure as a result of diabetes.
People with kidney failure undergo either dialysis, an artificial blood-cleaning process, or transplantation to receive a healthy kidney from a donor. Most U.S. citizens who develop kidney failure are eligible for federally funded care. In 2009, care for patients with kidney failure cost the United States nearly $42 billion.
Source: United States Renal Data System. USRDS 2007 Annual Data Report.
African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics/Latinos develop diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and kidney failure at rates higher than Caucasians. Scientists have not been able to explain these higher rates. Nor can they explain fully the interplay of factors leading to kidney disease of diabetes - factors includingheredity, diet, and other medical conditions, such as high blood pressure. They have found that high blood pressure and high levels ofblood glucose increase the risk that a person with diabetes will progress to kidney failure.