Protect and Prevent on World Kidney Day
(New York, NY) – Millions of people at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) may be able to prevent the need for dialysis and kidney transplantation with early identification and a dedication to healthy habits.
During National Kidney Month in March and in honor of World Kidney Day, March 8, 2012, the National Kidney Foundation is calling on all Americans to protect their kidneys and prevent damage by educating themselves about CKD and the proactive ways they can reduce their risk of kidney failure.
More than 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, and millions more are at risk but most don't know it. CKD often develops slowly with few symptoms, and many people don't realize they're sick until the disease is advanced and requires dialysis or a transplant. But kidney disease doesn't have to be the ninth leading cause of death in the U.S.
"Unfortunately, many people don't realize that a few simple lifestyle changes can slow the progression of CKD and can reduce the chances of developing it," said Joseph Vassalotti, MD, National Kidney Foundation Chief Medical Officer. "Knowing the risk factors and controlling the major ones, such as diabetes and high blood pressure may prevent kidney failure. Regular physical activity and a diet low in fat, salt, sugar and protein can make a big difference in reducing risk and preventing complications. "
Because identification of the disease is such an important first step, NKF is offering free screenings through the Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) in cities across the nation on World Kidney Day. KEEP is offered to those most at risk for CKD – anyone with diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney disease.
NKF is also teaming up with doctors, nutritionists and lifestyle-maven B. Smith to promote healthy food alternatives, diet tips and easy exercises that can help stem the dramatic rise of CKD in our communities.
Locations of World Kidney Day KEEP screenings and more information on being kidney-wise can be found of the NKF World Kidney Day website: http://www.kidney.org/news/wkd/
The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.