DENVER, Feb. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- DaVita, a division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (NYSE: DVA) and a leading provider of kidney care services, is encouraging African-Americans to learn about their risk for kidney disease during Black History Month.
Throughout February, African-Americans across the country are paying tribute to generations of challenges and triumphs. Black History Month is also a time of looking at the struggle of today, including the disproportionate incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and other health issues among African-Americans.
African-Americans are about three and a half times more likely to develop kidney failure than whites. In fact, African-Americans make up more than 30 percent of the people with kidney failure in the U.S., while representing only roughly 13 percent of the overall population.
"When my doctor told me I had kidney disease, I thought he had the wrong person," said David Miller, an African-American retired nurse. "My kidney disease progressed very quickly to the point I needed dialysis. I think, had we caught it in the beginning, we could have turned things around."Miller did not know he was at risk for kidney disease until later in his life. He now has kidney failure and dialyzes at a DaVita® facility three times per week. When addressed early enough, the progression of CKD can be slowed down, and in some cases even prevented. The first step is knowing the risk factors. DaVita has created an online quiz to assess the risk for kidney disease at DaVita.com/KidneyAware. For those at increased risk, a simple blood test from a doctor can confirm the disease. For those already living with CKD, DaVita shares some lifestyle tips to promote good kidney health:
- Stay informed – Make an effort to learn as much as possible about CKD to make educated decisions about next steps. Sign up for a Kidney Smart® class in your area to learn directly from a CKD educator at DaVita.com/KidneySmart.
- Stay positive – Take care of your health, find support and continue to engage with family and friends.
- Seek guidance – Ask your doctor about ways to slow the progression of CKD and figure out the best way to manage it.
- Work, if possible – Working while on dialysis has both physical and emotional benefits, including lower rates of depression, fewer hospitalizations and higher scores on general health and vitality tests. Find out more at DaVita.com/Working-On-Dialysis.
- Take charge of your health – Diet can help slow the progression of CKD. In addition to 1,000-plus kidney-friendly recipes, DaVita Diet Helper™ offers a way to track potassium, phosphorus and sodium levels. Learn more at DaVita.com/DietHelper.