Kidney disease is a growing problem in the United States, and certain racial and ethnic minorities, including African, Asian, Hispanic and Native Americans are at a higher risk than the general population for developing conditions that lead to kidney failure.

The main causes of kidney disease in the U.S. are diabetes and high blood pressure, and both of these conditions are more common among minorities.

Some facts:

- African Americans are nearly four times more likely than Caucasians to develop kidney failure.

- Hispanic Americans are almost twice as likely to have diabetes as non-Hispanics of the same age.*

Studies show that early detection and treatment can halt or slow the progression of kidney disease. During National Kidney Month in March, Fresenius Medical Care North America recommends that people in these at-risk groups get regular screenings for high blood pressure and diabetes and make changes to diet and exercise to help prevent kidney disease.

"Minorities, in particular, need to be more proactive about controlling diabetes and high blood pressure, which lead to kidney disease," said J. Michael Lazarus, MD, chief medical officer and senior executive vice president for Fresenius Medical Care. "Early detection allows more time for interventions that can slow its progress. Unfortunately, patients may have no symptoms of kidney disease while irreversible changes are occurring. My emphasis in cases of early referrals is always prevention."

There are other conditions that increase the chance of developing kidney disease, and these include hereditary or genetic factors, cardiovascular disease, and being over 60 years old.

Individuals with kidney failure have different options for receiving dialysis treatments, including home therapies that can allow for a more flexible lifestyle. Fresenius Medical Care has more than 1,700 dialysis clinics nationwide, and in addition to in-center hemodialysis services, offers home dialysis and in-center night-time dialysis at many facilities. Other dialysis patient services include a kidney transplant support program, anemia management, nutrition counseling, bone disease management and social worker support.

Fresenius Medical Care also holds free Treatment Options Program (TOPs) sessions across the country for anyone who wants to learn more about chronic kidney disease and the different kinds of dialysis treatment available today. For information on TOPs sessions, as well as patient-friendly support and detailed information on kidney disease and dialysis facilities in your area, go to: ultracare-dialysis (in English and Spanish) or call 1-866-4-DIALYSIS (1-866-434-2597).

* Statistics from National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and National Kidney Foundation

About Fresenius Medical Care North America

Fresenius Medical Care North America is a subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA, the world's largest integrated provider of products and services for individuals undergoing dialysis because of chronic kidney failure, a condition that affects more than 1,600,000 individuals worldwide. Through its network of 2,388 dialysis clinics in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa, Fresenius Medical Care provides dialysis treatment to approximately 184,086 patients around the globe. Fresenius Medical Care is also the world's leading provider of dialysis products such as hemodialysis machines, dialyzers and related disposable products. Fresenius Medical Care is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FME, FME3) and the New York Stock Exchange (FMS, FMS-p).

For more information about Fresenius Medical Care's U.S. network of more than 1,700 dialysis facilities, visit the Company's website at ultracare-dialysis (in English and Spanish). For more information about Fresenius Medical Care, visit the Company's websites: fmcna or fmc-ag.

Fresenius Medical Care

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