Press release

American Kidney Fund to Host CDC Million Hearts Collaboration Biannual Meeting, Spotlighting Connection Between Kidney Disease and Heart Disease

ROCKVILLE, Md. (March 26, 2019)  — As Kidney Month draws to a close, the American Kidney Fund (AKF) is hosting the March 27 biannual meeting of the Million Hearts® Collaboration, bringing together 14 member organizations that are working together to disseminate evidence-based cardiovascular disease prevention strategies and resources, promote the use of consistent cardiovascular health messaging, and provide opportunities for sharing of best practices and evidence-based prevention approaches at the state and local level.

Million Hearts® 2022 is a national initiative co-led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in 5 years. The initiative focuses partner actions on a small set of priorities selected for their impact on heart disease, stroke and related conditions.

"As the nation's leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans living with kidney disease, AKF has long been working to increase the public's awareness of the close links between kidney disease and heart disease," said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO.  "Hosting the Million Hearts Collaboration at our office in Rockville lets us spotlight this important connection to all the members of the Collaboration, helping expand our reach."

Cardiovascular and renal health are tightly linked, with heart disease being both a cause and a complication of kidney disease. High blood pressure causes more than a quarter of all cases of kidney failure in the United States, and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among people on dialysis. Other complications including anemia and hyperkalemia are common among those with kidney disease, resulting in stress on the cardiovascular system.

Many of AKF's programs focus on education and prevention — seeking to help people understand their risk for kidney disease and the importance of keeping the disease, and other underlying conditions, under control. Know Your Kidneys™, AKF's free kidney health screening program and the largest in the nation, provides blood pressure and kidney health screenings and education to populations most at risk. AKF's team of public health professionals is continually developing new health content and campaigns, like the ACT on Anemia campaign, that target heart health and cardiovascular complications.

AKF aims to continue developing initiatives that illustrate heart-kidney connection to ultimately prevent new cases of kidney and heart disease, and empower those who have kidney disease to protect their heart health.

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.

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