National Kidney Foundation and Siemens Healthcare Strategic Alliance for Education and Screening Offers No-Cost Test for Kidney Disease Detection

Initiative aims to improve kidney disease diagnosis and treatment for at-risk Americans

Bruce Skyer & David Stein

New York, NY (Nov. 12, 2014) – Beginning in November, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), with support from the Diagnostics Division of Siemens Healthcare, will offer no-cost ACR urine testing to those at risk for kidney disease through its popular KEEP Healthy community screening program. An ACR (albumin/creatinine ratio) urine test is a simple way to identify early signs of kidney disease.

Testing those at risk for kidney disease is part of the NKF and Siemens Healthcare Strategic Alliance for Education and Screening. Formed earlier this year, the Alliance aims to improve the diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease among the 73 million Americans who are at risk.

"The fact is, 1 in 3 American adults are at high risk for developing kidney disease with the major contributors being—high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure, or being over 60 years of age," said Dr. David Stein, CEO, Point of Care (POC) Business Unit, Siemens Healthcare, Diagnostics Division. "Testing these individuals, and working with primary care doctors to promote ACR screening in at-risk populations will save countless lives in the coming years."

To support public awareness efforts, Siemens and the NKF will make a splash in the epicenter of New York—Times Square where kidney disease awareness messaging will be displayed on the ABC Super Sign, seen by approximately 1 million people a day. The awareness campaign is scheduled to run on the Super Sign from November 12 – 16th in order to coincide with World Diabetes Day on November 14th. Diabetes is one of the major risk factors for developing kidney disease.

On the professional side, the Alliance will begin disseminating ACR urine testing protocols to medical practitioners across the nation. The NKF recommends that healthcare professionals screen for kidney disease with this simple urine ACR test during the annual physical examination of high-risk individuals.

Patients and professionals interested in learning about the latest guidelines for kidney disease screening should visit the new Siemens and NKF Alliance portal, www.kidney.org/screening. This website houses everything from information about KEEP Healthy events—which also provides blood pressure checks, a consultation with a healthcare professional, and education about kidneys, kidney disease risk factors and tips for kidney health—to practical knowledge for medical professionals on the ACR urine test and the identification and staging of kidney disease.

"ACR is the best tool we have to detect kidney disease early," said Dr. Jeffrey Berns, President of the National Kidney Foundation. "If we identify it, we can slow progression with lifestyle changes and medications. We look forward to working with Siemens, one of the healthcare industry's diagnostic leaders, to reinforce this message."

Facts from the National Kidney Foundation:

  • 1 in 3 American adults is at high risk for developing kidney disease today.
  • High blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure and being over 60 are major risk factors for developing kidney disease.
  • 1 in 9 American adults has kidney disease -- and most don't know it.
  • Early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease.
  • Kidney disease risk can be reduced by controlling blood pressure and blood sugar, quitting smoking, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding excessive use of pain medications.

The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk. For more information, visit www.kidney.org.

Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world's largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is No. 1 in offshore wind turbine construction, a leading supplier of combined cycle turbines for power generation, a leading provider of power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions and automation and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading supplier of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In fiscal 2013, which ended on September 30, 2013, revenue from continuing operations totaled €75.9 billion and income from continuing operations €4.2 billion. At the end of September 2013, Siemens had around 362,000 employees worldwide on the basis of continuing operations. Further information is available on the Internet at www.siemens.com.