ROCKVILLE, Md.—Results from American Kidney Fund-commissioned research showed that majority of those surveyed who care for their loved ones’ health are unaware that diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney disease.
Most survey respondents (85 percent) could not name high blood pressure as a leading cause of kidney disease. In addition, the majority (74 percent) of all respondents have a loved one with high blood pressure
More than two-thirds (69 percent) of respondents could not name diabetes as a leading cause of kidney disease, despite the fact that 55 percent of respondents have a loved one with diabetes, according to the AKF research.
Even those respondents who have personally been diagnosed with high blood pressure and/or diabetes (32 percent) seemed unclear of their risk for kidney disease, the AKF study found. More than two-thirds (67 percent) said they have not been told by a doctor that they are at risk for kidney disease. And approximately one-in-four (27 percent) said their doctor has not tested how well their kidneys are working
The survey also revealed that education and awareness are key drivers for healthy behavior change. After survey participants were informed that diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading risk factors for kidney disease, 84 percent say that they are likely to encourage loved ones with diabetes or high blood pressure to learn more about their risks for kidney disease, and 86 percent are likely to encourage loved ones with diabetes or high blood pressure to get a health check-up.
"It’s clear from our research that elevating awareness of kidney disease and its risk factors will help us fight the disease and help lead Americans to better health habits," said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the AKF. "The American Kidney Fund is dedicated to fighting kidney disease with education and awareness, through the support of our sponsors and supporters."
The survey results were released as part of an AKF national campaign to raise awareness about kidney disease called Pair Up: Join the Fight to Prevent Kidney Disease (PairUpNow.org). The campaign encourages women to learn if they’re at risk for kidney disease and spread the word about kidney disease to loved ones who also may be at risk.
"Women are critically important in the fight against kidney disease because they tend to be the primary healthcare decision-makers for their families," said Burton. "Through the Pair Up campaign, we hope to empower women to become more effective drivers of kidney disease awareness and prevention for themselves and their loved ones who may be at risk."