SAN DIEGO, Calif., Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- After screening Americans at
risk for the past 10 years, the National Kidney Foundation is revitalizing
its Kidney Early Evaluation Program with Amgen Inc. as its principal
sponsor. KEEP will now bring new screening strategies to the program and
more broadly address the link between chronic kidney disease (CKD) and
cardiovascular disease (CVD). The National Kidney Foundation made the
announcement today at the American Society of Nephrology Annual Meeting,
the world's largest gathering of kidney specialists.
KEEP is a free kidney health screening program designed to help people
at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) receive early diagnosis and
treatment. Research shows that treating CKD at an early stage, especially
when diabetes, high blood pressure or cardiovascular diseases is present,
can improve outcomes.
"KEEP has been finding early kidney disease and advising treatments
that can lower risk and improve lives," said Allan Collins, MD, president
of the National Kidney Foundation. "The relationship with Amgen is enabling
us to expand the scope of KEEP so that we can reach more Americans and
follow participants over an extended period of time."
One in nine American adults -- more than 20 million people -- have CKD
and another 20 million are at increased risk of CKD. The prevalence is even
more pronounced among people with CVD. Risk factors for CKD include
diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of diabetes and CKD.
African Americans, older Americans and Hispanics are especially at risk.
Death from CVD is 10-30 times higher in those with advanced CKD who require
dialysis than in the general population. Research shows that frequency of
cardiovascular complications and the progression of CKD can be modified
with appropriate and early intervention.
The National Kidney Foundation has appointed a new multidisciplinary
KEEP steering committee combining expertise in nephrology with cardiology
to underscore the profound connection between those at risk for
cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CKD.
The new steering committee, chaired by George Bakris, MD, a
nephrologist and board certified specialist in hypertension at Rush
Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, and Peter
A. McCullough MD, a cardiologist at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak,
Michigan whose research interest lies in CKD as a cardiovascular risk, will
focus on leveraging patients' knowledge of their cardiovascular risk to
drive awareness of the significance of CKD in a high risk population.
"Amgen is proud to be the principal sponsor of KEEP, which promises to
further our joint mission to better understand and improve the lives of
patients with CKD," said Robert M. Brenner, MD, Senior Director of
Nephrology Medical Affairs, Amgen Inc. " ... we believe KEEP represents the
seminal CKD screening program in the U.S. We are confident that KEEP will
increase our understanding of CKD and CVD via the combined efforts of the
NKF, participating health care professionals, patients and industry."
Key Findings from the first 10 years of KEEP:
* Nearly 30% of KEEP participants are found to have CKD, yet only two
percent knew they were even at risk prior to attending the screening
* More than 30% of KEEP participants have diabetes
* Nearly 69% of KEEP participants have elevated blood pressure
* Nearly 86% of participants have a cardiovascular disease risk factor
* KEEP participants with later stages of CKD are most likely to be anemic;
risk of anemia is greater among those with diabetes
* 67% of KEEP participants report seeing a physician after the screening
to discuss test results, including elevated blood pressure, anemia,
urine test abnormalities
KEEP participant Connie Gilmore of Newark, New Jersey, is African
American and over 70, yet she didn't realize she could be at risk. "I
always thought of myself as the picture of health," says Gilmore. KEEP
tests revealed blood sugar and blood pressure problems and that she had
protein in the urine -- one of the earliest signs of kidney disease. "After
I got over the shock, I began to focus on the kidney damage," says Gilmore,
"I'm taking the right blood pressure medicine and have asked my doctor to
monitor my kidney function regularly."
The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to the prevention of kidney
and urinary tract disease, improving the health and well-being of patients
and families affected by these diseases and increasing the availability of
all organs for transplantation. For information on KEEP and a current
schedule of screening events visit http://www.keeponline.org
Amgen is joining associate sponsor Abbott Laboratories in supporting
KEEP's expanded objectives. Additional support for KEEP is provided by
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Inc., Ortho Biotech, Inc., Bayer Diagnostics,
Lifescan, Inc., Suplena, Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.
SOURCE National Kidney Foundation