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

As the nation’s leading independent nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans with kidney disease, the American Kidney Fund is dedicated to ensuring that every kidney patient has access to health care, and that every person at risk for kidney disease is empowered to prevent it. AKF provides a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention outreach, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling the nation’s low-income dialysis and transplant patients to access lifesaving medical care, including dialysis and transplantation. AKF holds the highest ratings from the nation’s charity watchdog groups, including Charity Navigator, which includes AKF on its “top 10” list of nonprofits with the longest track records of outstanding stewardship of the donated dollar, and GuideStar, which has awarded AKF its Platinum Seal of Transparency.

For more information, please visit KidneyFund.org, or connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.