Tiny but mighty, the kidneys are small, but powerful chemical factories that remove waste, balance your body’s fluids, and keep your blood pressure in check. Despite being as essential to keeping us alive and healthy, kidney health often isn’t discussed with the same urgency as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes.
In fact, 30 million people in the U.S. have kidney disease but only 10% know it, according to the National Kidney Foundation. More than half of the 29,000 Illinois resident living with kidney failure live in Cook County, and many more Chicagoans are at risk for the disease due to rapidly rising rates of diabetes and high blood pressure. For African Americans and Hispanics, the risk for kidney disease and kidney failure is even higher with African Americans 3 times more likely and Hispanics 1½ times more likely to develop kidney failure than Whites. So why don’t people with kidney disease know they have it? How does the kidney work to keep you alive and healthy? What causes the racial/ethnic disparities in kidney health? What can you do to protect your kidney health? In this talk, Dr. Dinee Simpson will filter through some common kidney-related misconceptions, the racial and ethnic disparities in kidney disease, and everything you need to know about keeping your kidneys healthy.