Kidney disease in the Hispanic population: facing the growing challenge

J Natl Med Assoc. 2004 Jun;96(6):789-98.


The incidence of kidney disease in the United States is rising at a steady, alarming pace. The growth rate has been particularly rapid for end-stage renal disease (ESRD), which has been reported to double every 10 years. Of even greater concern is the emergence of striking racial disparities in the prevalence, morbidity, and mortality of kidney disease, and in the provision of optimal care to prevent or slow progression of the disease. Hispanics, who are among the fastest-growing racial groups in the United States, are twice as likely to develop kidney failure as non-Hispanic whites, largely due to the increased prevalence of diabetes mellitus in the Hispanic population. However, Hispanic patients are less likely than the general U.S. population to be screened for risk factors for kidney disease or receive optimal treatment after diagnosis. Several actions are required to redress these racial inequalities. Improved cultural sensitivity on the part of physicians is fundamentally important, as are patient education programs targeted specifically at the diverse Hispanic groups. In addition, local initiatives should be supported on a wider scale by healthcare policymakers to encourage improved medical care within Hispanic communities and thereby reduce the burden of kidney disease on American society as a whole.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Communication Barriers
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / ethnology
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / ethnology
  • Kidney Diseases / epidemiology
  • Kidney Diseases / ethnology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / ethnology*
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology