Press release

American Kidney Fund Statement on Newly Defined Cardiovascular Kidney Metabolic Syndrome

A statement from LaVarne A. Burton, CEO and president of AKF, on the American Heart Association's advisory defining cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic syndrome, or CKM syndrome.

ROCKVILLE, Md. (Oct. 12, 2023) The American Kidney Fund (AKF) strongly supports the American Heart Association's advisory, published in the journal Circulation, that newly defines the overlap seen in chronic kidney disease, obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease as cardiovascular-kidney-metabolic syndrome, or CKM syndrome.

LaVarne A. Burton, AKF President and CEO, today issued this statement:

"We have long known that diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of kidney disease, that heart disease can cause kidney disease, and vice versa. Defining the strong connections among cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity and outlining new approaches for staging, screening and collaborative care has the potential to significantly increase kidney disease screening and awareness. These measures will in turn improve health outcomes for so many who face a serious and life-altering diagnosis.

"About 37 million people in the U.S. have chronic kidney disease and millions more are at risk. More than 800,000 have kidney failure, in which the leading cause of death is heart disease. These are sobering statistics, especially when you consider that 1 in 3 U.S. adults have three or more risk factors that contribute to heart disease, metabolic disorders and kidney disease.

"With recent therapies that target chronic kidney disease, greater awareness that will arise out of the identification of this syndrome and adoption of CKM-related screening that aims to detect disease early and prevent progression, we hope that kidney disease trends will soon begin to abate.

"Additionally, we are pleased to see that the approach for CKM syndrome includes screening for and addressing social factors that act as drivers of health and that the advisory proposes updating the atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk calculator to include measures of kidney function, Type 2 diabetes control and social determinants of health for a more comprehensive risk estimate of ASCVD."

About the American Kidney Fund

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nonprofit with the greatest direct impact on people with kidney disease. AKF works on behalf of 1 in 7 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. AKF fights for kidney health for all through programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy. AKF is one of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, investing 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, and holds the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 21 consecutive years and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly known as GuideStar. 

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