Central Illinois LINKS take on Chronic Kidney Disease

The Central Illinois Chapter of The Links saw a great turnout at their recent kidney screening drives. Established in 1974, CIC The Links is a group of women “who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.”

With that goal in mind, the local chapter organized two area screening drives aimed at raising kidney health awareness among Black residents. The drives are part of a new CIC initiative called “Black K.A.R.E. (Kidney Awareness, Resources, & Education). “CIC’s Black K.A.R.E. program will provide several activities enabling community members to increase their awareness of CKD, and steps to help manage or reduce the diagnoses of chronic kidney disease in the Black community,” the group said in a news release.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 7 Americans or more than 37 million people have chronic kidney disease — and the majority of people are undiagnosed. The research also shows CKD disproportionately affects Black Americans: While Black Americans comprise 13% of the U.S. population overall, the group accounts for 35% of the population with end-stage kidney disease.

While the high rates of diabetes and high blood pressure in the Black community may account for some of this disparity, there are other non-medical contributing factors including lack of access to insurance, medical care and healthy foods and other conditions often linked to discrimination.

To help reduce the disproportionate impact of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the Black community, consider taking the pledge and participating in the CIC Links Black K.A.R.E. Program.

For more information on chronic kidney disease (CKD) go to: www.ciclinks-blackkare.info