Monday, March 02, 2009

March Is National Kidney Month

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Kidney TRUST, a non-profit organization dedicated to chronic kidney disease (CKD) education and prevention, will observe National Kidney Month and World Kidney Day on March 12 by conducting a series of free rapid-screening programs in Colorado, California, Texas, and Washington, D.C. throughout the month of March. Since the TRUST launched its CKD rapid-screening program in October of 2007, over 6,000 people have been screened for the disease.

"26 million adult Americans suffer from kidney disease," said TRUST President Barbara Lawson, "but CKD is a silent epidemic and often has no symptoms until the kidneys begin to fail. Thousands of people crash into dialysis in the United States every year because they haven't known that their kidneys were at risk. The good news is that CKD is usually treatable if detected early."

The goal of the TRUST's innovative rapid-testing program is to identify individuals who have signs of kidney impairment. Along with learning their screening results onsite, participants receive materials that offer education about CKD and its prevention and are encouraged to seek medical follow-up as appropriate. The TRUST's screening program is carried out in non-medical settings such as large employer workplaces and community health fairs.

Ms. Lawson added "Like high blood pressure and cholesterol, kidney disease is a condition that can be identified with a simple, speedy, and inexpensive test. The Kidney TRUST's ultimate goal is to make screening for CKD as routine as tests for these other conditions. We want to get the message out to the public that taking a simple test for CKD now could help head off serious health problems in the future."

The Kidney TRUST was founded in 2006 by DaVita Inc., a leading provider of kidney care in the United States. The Kidney TRUST is an independent, nonprofit organization that believes everyone should be empowered to take a proactive role in their health. Toward that end, the TRUST is seeking to reduce the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) through free, rapid screening in non-medical settings and to provide financial assistance to people affected by CKD. For more information visit www.kidneytrust.org.

About Chronic Kidney Disease

When it comes to kidney disease, not knowing is the riskiest thing of all. People with kidney disease are at higher risk for high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack. CKD causes anemia, bone disease and malnutrition, and can eventually lead to kidney failure.

Healthy kidneys remove waste products and excess fluid, help regulate the body's water, salts and other chemicals in the blood, and remove drugs and toxins. Kidneys also release hormones to help regulate blood pressure, make red blood cells and promote strong bones.

People at increased risk for CKD include those with diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and a family history of kidney disease, as well as people over the age of 60. Certain ethnic groups such as African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans are also at increased risk.

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