Does Kidney Disease Run in Your Family?


Does anyone in your family (including grandparents, aunts, uncles, or cousins) have kidney disease?

Do you have high blood pressure that is hard to control?

Are you Black, African American, Afro-Latino, Afro-Caribbean, or of African ancestry?

Family history can put you at risk for kidney disease. If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions above, consider asking your doctor about a genetic test for kidney disease. Knowing your genetic makeup can help determine if you are at risk for kidney disease and, ultimately, may help delay or postpone your need for dialysis or kidney transplant. People who are Black, African American, Afro-Latino, Afro-Caribbean or of African ancestry are at higher risk than other groups for having variations of the APOL1 gene that are connected to early-onset kidney failure (meaning kidney failure that happens earlier in life than is typical, as early as childhood through young adult years).

Genetic testing is a type of medical test that identifies changes in chromosomes, genes or proteins. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder.

Please talk to your family doctor or kidney doctor about the importance of knowing if you are at risk for genetic kidney disease. Also, ask your doctor to identify a trusted testing site where genetic testing is affordable

Genetic Testing Recourses:

Natera (

APOL1 Gene Testing Services at Wake Forest Innovations (

Rare Genomes Project (


Get help coping with the challenges of living with FSGS through support groups like NephCure. Learn more about our how we can support you.


Eat a diet low in salt and processed foods to manage your blood pressure and reduce strain on your kidneys. Learn more about a kidney-friendly diet and get our cookbook.

Related Resources


Plant-Based Diet and Kidney Disease


Mental Health Patient and Caregiver Panel


Newly Diagnosed Parents – Nephrotic Syndrome 101

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