Results from an online survey indicated many Americans are not aware of the association between kidney disease and diabetes. The survey, conducted by The Harris Poll, was commissioned by the National Kidney Foundation.
Of more than 2,000 U.S. adults surveyed, according to a press release, 46% were not aware that diabetes increases the risk for kidney failure, while 31% did not know diabetes increases the risk for kidney disease. Of those with diabetes, 14% “did not believe” or were “unsure” if diabetes increased the risk of being diagnosed with kidney disease.
“The Harris Poll result shows that there are too many people at great risk who don’t know enough about this disease,” John Gerzema, Harris Poll CEO and chair of NKF’s national board of directors, said in the release. “We must increase our efforts to change that.”
Further results showed men are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes by a medical professional than women (17% vs. 10%) and that those with an annual household income of less than $50,000 are more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (14% vs. 8% of those making $50,000 or more). In addition, younger adults were found more likely to answer incorrectly or be unsure about the greater risk of kidney disease with diabetes (40% of those aged 18 to 34 years vs. 24% of those 35 and older).
“We must raise awareness among the American public that kidney disease is a dangerous, life-threatening condition that can be mitigated by early diagnosis and a proactive approach to maintaining kidney health,” Kevin Longino, CEO of the NKF, said. He added, “We want to eliminate preventable kidney disease and help those with the disease to live the most full, productive, and functional lives as possible.”