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 www.keeponline.org and to
learn more about CKD risk, visit www.kidney.org.
World Kidney Day is sponsored by Abbott, Affymax, Amgen, Genzyme, Ortho
Biotech, Quest Diagnostics, Roche and Wyeth.
SOURCE National Kidney Foundation