The Prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease in Georgia & throughout the Southeast

kidney_diseaseThe statistics for chronic kidney disease in Georgia are startling. The Georgia Medical Care Foundation has estimated that the state’s mortality rate for this illness is 30 to 40 percent higher than the national average, making it the ninth leading cause of death for Georgia residents. But what exactly leads to chronic kidney disease (CKD) and why are individuals in this state and throughout the rest of the Southeastern United States more susceptible?

The primary causes of chronic kidney disease include diabetes mellitus (Type 1 or 2), heart disease, and high blood pressure. These conditions generally develop in people who are overweight, relatively sedentary, and who consume a diet high in cholesterol and fat. Traditional southern diets tend to be relatively high in fat, which may explain the prevalence of chronic kidney disease in Georgia and surrounding areas. The risk of developing kidney disease also varies by ethnicity and gender. The Georgia Department of Public Health estimates that the risk of African Americans developing CKD is approximately 270 percent higher than that of Caucasians, while men are 54 percent more likely to develop the condition than females.

There are a variety of ways that you can help to reduce the prevalence of kidney disease in Georgia.  Try to practice a healthy lifestyle by eating a diet low in saturated fat and exercising regularly. You can also take advantage of free health screenings provided by the American Kidney Fund (AKF). Click here for a schedule of AKF’s Atlanta area screenings.

You can also support AKF’s efforts to increase awareness about CKD by donating used clothing and household items to American Kidney Services (AKS), the proceeds from which go directly to AKF. Residents of Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Dunwoody, Marietta, and surrounding areas can request a free donation pick up from AKS by calling 770-441-2220 or filling out our online form. AKS also offers a variety of donation drop off locations throughout Metro Atlanta – click here to find a location near you.