ROCKVILLE, Md. (September 5, 2019) – Thirty-seven million Americans have kidney disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and 1 in 3 is at risk. To address this enormous public health threat, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) today announced a partnership with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to increase early detection and treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD) — the fastest-growing noncommunicable disease — and help those at risk to prevent it altogether.
The overwhelming majority — 96% — of people with early-stage kidney disease are not aware they have it, thereby lacking the knowledge and treatment that could help them slow down or stop its progression to kidney failure (end-stage renal disease, or ESRD). The new campaign will build on AKF's Know Your Kidneys™ program, already the nation's largest free kidney health screening program, and emphasize the strong links between kidney disease and diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.
The importance of early detection of kidney disease was recently highlighted as a key component of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' new "Advancing American Kidney Health" initiative. AKF's campaign will complement federal efforts to make kidney disease a national priority in order to reduce the number of Americans who reach kidney failure.
"Prevention and disease management have been a vital part of our mission for decades and we have provided free kidney health screening to thousands of Americans each year," said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. "We are extraordinarily grateful to Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for its partnership in working with us to expand our reach, urging Americans to understand their risks and get tested early."
Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney disease and account for nearly two-thirds of new cases of kidney failure. A primary goal of AKF's Know Your Kidneys campaign will be to increase the understanding of CKD as a severe and realistic consequence of insufficiently managing these two conditions.
More than a third of U.S. patients who receive a diagnosis of kidney failure have had little or no pre-ESRD nephrology care which could have delayed kidney failure or even prevented it. Because kidney disease typically has no symptoms until the late stages, AKF's campaign will focus on reaching those most at risk for kidney disease as well as those who already have a diagnosis.
About the American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. One of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, AKF invests 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, earning the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 years in a row as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly GuideStar.