NEW YORK, March 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is joining forces with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), and actor Wilmer Valderrama to reach the 1 in 3 American adults at risk for kidney disease. "Are You the 33%?" is a nationwide public awareness campaign launching today for National Kidney Month.
With compelling visuals, a thought-provoking social media campaign and a broadcast PSA launching later this month with actor, activist, and entrepreneur Wilmer Valderrama, the campaign focuses on the 33 percent of American adults at risk for developing dangerous, life-threatening kidney disease. Risk factors include diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and family history of kidney disease.
"Look around the next time you're sitting in a school auditorium or even in a giant, professional sports stadium; one third of every adult in there with you is at risk of developing kidney disease," said Kevin Longino, CEO of NKF and a kidney transplant patient. "We believe it's essential to reach the more than 80,000,000 American adults at risk, because if you can diagnose and treat kidney disease early, you can help stave off its life-threatening complications."
"Everyone needs to learn about kidney health," said Valderrama. "Millions of people have kidney disease. It affects more people than breast cancer or prostate cancer. My family and I are taking this disease seriously. I took the kidney quiz to find out my risk for kidney disease and you should too." Valderrama has close family members affected by diabetes and high blood pressure, two of the key risk factors.
The "Are You the 33%?" campaign, co-sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation, HHS and ASN is part of a new Public Awareness Initiative of the Advancing American Kidney Health (AAKH) plan. In November, 2019, HHS, NKF and ASN joined in a public-private partnership to implement this awareness campaign. NKF is working with HHS and ASN to align their efforts and elevate the profile of kidney disease as an urgent public health issue. These efforts will increase the campaign's visibility with the general public and mobilize the kidney community of patients, nephrologists and health professionals to promote new approaches to prevent, diagnose, and treat kidney disease. The campaign microsite and creative assets will also be available in Spanish starting September 15th for Hispanic Heritage Month.
"More than 90 percent of the 37,000,000 Americans and 850,000,000 individuals worldwide affected with kidney disease are unaware that they are even sick," said Anupam Agarwal, MD, FASN, ASN President. "This silent epidemic often strikes without symptoms. Millions of people won't know they have kidney disease until their kidneys stop working and it's too late."
"My own family has known the burdens of kidney disease, including how taxing dialysis can be. Helping Americans understand their risk for kidney disease and take steps to prevent it is and must be a top public health priority," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "In support of the Trump Administration's national kidney health initiative, the 'Are You the 33%?' campaign will raise awareness of the risk of kidney disease and help millions of Americans take steps to improve their kidney health and prevent the costly, deadly health challenge of kidney disease."
Go to MinuteForYourKidneys.org today and take a simple quiz and learn what to do next and how to talk to your doctor about kidney health.
Kidney disease can strike anyone, young or old, and has many causes, but early intervention can make a difference. Lifestyle changes and a healthy diet can sometimes slow the progression of the disease when caught in the early stages, and sometimes can prevent kidney failure.
Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #MinuteForYourKidneys.
About Kidney Disease
In the United States, 37,000,000 adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease (CKD) – and most aren't aware of it. 1 in 3 American adults is at risk for CKD. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a family history of kidney failure, and being age 60 or older. People of African American, Hispanic, Native-American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are about 3 times more likely than Whites to develop end-stage kidney disease (ESKD or kidney failure). Compared to non-Hispanics, Hispanics are almost 1.3 times more likely to receive a diagnosis of kidney failure.
About National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit www.kidney.org.
About the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) enhances and protects the health and well-being of all Americans. HHS fulfills that mission by providing for effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. For more information visit www.hhs.gov.
About American Society of Nephrology
Since 1966, ASN has been leading the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients. ASN has more than 21,000 members representing 131 countries. For more information, please visit www.asn-online.org or contact the society at 202-640-4660.
SOURCE National Kidney Foundation