Kidney Disease Opens Door to Heart Disease, Other Leading Killers, Says National Survey

National Kidney Foundation program demonstrates value of simple tests to

diagnose kidney disease in people who are most at risk

Mar 08, 2007, 00:00 ET from National Kidney Foundation

    NEW YORK, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- People with chronic kidney disease
 are significantly more likely to have other, life-threatening conditions
 such as heart disease, according to new findings from a nationwide
 screening program by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) published in the
 March issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. The report is
 released today in conjunction with the 2nd annual "World Kidney Day"
 observance in recognition of the worldwide significance of kidney disease
 as a public health problem.
     In the survey of people at risk of developing kidney problems, those
 who were already diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease, or CKD, were also
 at increased risk of having poorly controlled blood sugar, a hallmark of
 diabetes. Compared to the general population, people at risk of CKD were
 more likely to be overweight, and have high blood pressure. The survey was
 conducted through NKF's Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP), a free
 kidney health detection program designed to help people at risk for chronic
 kidney disease (CKD) receive early diagnosis and treatment.
     "People at risk of CKD are more than twice as likely as people who are
 not at risk to have high blood pressure," says Allan Collins, MD, president
 of the NKF. "Among people at risk, 27% of those already diagnosed with CKD
 have heart disease, the nation's top killer, relative to only 15% of people
 at risk of, but not yet diagnosed with, kidney problems," he adds. "These
 findings suggest that CKD can multiply the risk of other devastating
 illnesses, demonstrating the importance of diagnosing and managing the
 disease in those who are most vulnerable."
     The survey included 55,000 people who are at highest risk of developing
 kidney disease -- those with diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family
 history of these conditions or kidney disease. The results show many people
 with CKD don't know they have it: 29% of participants had kidney disease,
 yet only 2% were aware that they had a kidney problem.
     "These findings demonstrate how important simple screening tests are
 for people who have a higher risk of kidney failure," says Collins. "These
 tests can diagnose kidney disease in its early stages, when treatment is
 most effective, saving countless lives."
     Twenty million Americans -- 1 in 9 adults -- suffer from some degree of
 chronic kidney disease (CKD) -- and another 20 million are at risk. The
 National Kidney Foundation will offer free kidney screenings through KEEP
 for people at risk for CKD in cities across the country on World Kidney Day
 -- March 8. For locations and schedules, visit and to
 learn more about CKD risk, visit
     World Kidney Day is sponsored by Abbott, Affymax, Amgen, Genzyme, Ortho
 Biotech, Quest Diagnostics, Roche and Wyeth.

SOURCE National Kidney Foundation