Press release

On World Kidney Day, American Kidney Fund urges Americans to get tested for kidney disease

AKF's Know Your Kidneys™ screening and education seeks to change the trajectory of a silent killer that shows no symptoms until the late stages and affects minorities disproportionately

ROCKVILLE, Maryland (March 14, 2019) – With kidney disease affecting 30 million Americans — most of whom are unaware they have it — the American Kidney Fund (AKF) is using today, World Kidney Day, to issue an urgent call to Americans at risk for the disease to get tested. Because kidney disease usually has no symptoms until the late stages, simple blood and urine tests are the only ways to know how well your kidneys are working.

People with diabetes and high blood pressure have the highest risk for kidney disease, but others are at increased risk as well: anyone with a family history of the disease, people who are obese, people who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and those over age 60. Testing is important because if kidney disease is detected early, its progression can often be slowed or stopped with lifestyle and diet changes, as well as medications. Once the kidneys have failed, patients need either a dialysis or a kidney transplant to live.

World Kidney Day 2019 is focused on raising awareness of the high and increasing burden of kidney diseases worldwide and the need for strategies for prevention and disease management, with a focus on improving equity in health across socioeconomic groups.

"Kidney disease is increasing at a faster rate than any other noncommunicable disease in the U.S., and that's why we're working so hard to ensure people at risk are tested," said LaVarne A. Burton, president and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. "We know that through education and through early detection we can have an impact. We need people to feel empowered to talk to their doctors about their risk for kidney disease."

Through its Know Your Kidneys™ program — the largest free kidney health screening program in the country — AKF is reaching into communities at high risk for the disease to educate people about their risk for the disease and offer free kidney health screenings.

This year, AKF's Know Your Kidneys program will provide kidney health screenings in 25 cities nationwide, focusing on areas with large minority populations who are at higher risk for kidney disease. Kidney Action Day — AKF's signature community outreach event — will be held in San Jose, California on April 7; Memphis, Tennessee on Sept. 7; and Houston on Sept. 15. AKF's Know Your Kidneys program is supported by national sponsors Satellite Healthcare and Any Lab Test Now.

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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