June 18, 2008

Contact: Michele Anthony or Rachel Schreibman, NKF
(202) 244-7900

Top Killers Triggered by Kidney Disease

People with kidney disease – itself a serious health risk – are also at higher risk of heart attack, stroke

WASHINGTON, DC – The 26 million American adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke, according to new results presented in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the publication of the National Kidney Foundation. People in the District of Columbia are especially at risk for these complications that accompany kidney disease, considering the rate of kidney failure in the District of Columbia is the highest in the nation—it affects 3,733 per million population. This rate is almost 2.5 times the national average of 1,496, and 1.8 times that of the next highest state: Louisiana with 2,065.

The NKF Serving the National Capital Area (NKF/NCA) President & CEO Preston A. Englert, Jr., CAE stresses the implications the study’s findings have for Washingtonians: “This study supports our ongoing efforts to relay to our community that early detection and education is imperative in the District.” Identifying kidney disease at its early stages, when treatment is most effective, may prevent further long-term complications.

In Washington, DC, kidney disease is an epidemic. The city has been called “ground zero” for kidney disease because of its prevalence. In certain parts of the city that are plagued by crime, poverty, and health problems, the rate of kidney disease is staggering. For example, in Southeast DC, inside zip code 20019, the age-adjusted rate for new cases of kidney failure is 44 times the national average.

Furthermore, most people are unaware that they have kidney disease or abnormalities that could lead to kidney disease in the future, and its accompanying health problems. Risk factors for kidney disease includes diabetes; high blood pressure; a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney failure; kidney stones; urinary tract infections; or excessive drugs and toxins in the blood. “If you are at risk for kidney disease, get screened. Do it for yourself. Do it for your family,” says Englert.

Through its Knock Out Kidney Disease (KOKD) initiative, the NKF/NCA offers free medical screenings, worth approximately $200, to DC residents. To be eligible for a screening, an individual must have at least one of the risk factors listed above. Screenings include tests for kidney function, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, and anemia. Call NKF/NCA at (202)244.7900 or visit the NKF/NCA website for more information:

Upcoming KOKD Screenings:

June 21 - Howard University Hospital Dialysis
2041 Georgia Ave. NW
Washington, DC
July 10 - University of the District of Columbia
4200 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM screening hrs
July 16 - Ronald Reagan Bldg
14th and Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC
July 19 - Pleasant Lane Baptist Church
501 E. St. SE
Washington, DC
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM screening hrs
July 25 - Department of Consumer Affairs
941 N. Capitol St. NE
Washington, DC
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM screening hrs
July 31 - Goodwill Industries
2200 S. Dakota Ave. NE
Washington, DC
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM screening hrs
July 31 - Goodwill Industries
2200 S. Dakota Ave.
Washington, DC
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM screening hrs

Updated screening information posted on the NKF/NCA website at:

Do you want to host a screening at your church or community center? Call (202) 244-7900 to learn more.

The mission of the National Kidney Foundation is to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.