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Patient Advocate Foundation
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Home > Resources > PAF Publications > PAF Guides & Major Publications > A Healthier African Am Community > Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease
Heart and kidney diseases include coronary artery disease, heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure (hypertension) and kidney disease. These diseases are common in the African American community and are major causes of early death.

Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease has two main causes: diabetes and high blood pressure. Chronic kidney disease may progress slowly and many people do not know they have kidney disease until it is already severe. If found and treated early, kidney disease can often be slowed or stopped. If not stopped, it may lead to kidney failure. Kidney failure means your kidneys no longer work well enough to maintain life and you will either need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Risk factors:
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history of chronic kidney disease
  • Older Age
Signs and Symptoms:
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble thinking clearly
  • Poor appetite
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Muscle cramping at night
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Puffiness around the eyes, especially in the morning
  • Need to urinate more often, especially at night